Pen pal program connects trucker to French classroom
The trucking industry has commonly found ways to help others and one pen pal program highlights the opportunity that exists for those who work in the industry as professional CDL drivers.
“Trucker Buddy International pen pal program is living up to the ‘international’ part of its name – at least in the case of OOIDA Members Bob and Linda Caffee of Silex, Mo.,” reported Landline Magazine in a recent article. “The Caffees, who just won an Outstanding Trucker Buddy award, have been sending letters and post cards to elementary students who go to school in St. Malo, France.”
Landline reports that the Caffees discovered the program through the Trucker Buddy website and was connected with the French classroom.
“The teacher moved on to do something different,” Linda said in the article. “I was asked if I wanted to do another class and I said I would, gladly.”
The Caffess have been writing to students who are all 10-12 years and live in a beautiful resort area in France, but Linda says they love to get postcards from the United States.
“Linda sends this class postcards every other week as well as emails,” Landline reports. “The teacher told Caffee that the kids do reports on postcards she sends and it’s a requirement that they be done in English.”
“So it’s a great exercise in learning English,” says Linda.
In one of her blogs, Linda wrote that “Our class in France has sent us one-minute sound bites with the kids speaking to us through an avatar they have created. We were thrilled to receive these and listen to each one of them speak to us in English with their delightful French accents.”
The kids also follow Bob and Linda’s blog and enjoy the pictures.
Linda says one day she’d like to jump on a jet and go to France to visit.
“The teacher is amazing, and I’d like to visit her one day,” she said.
Landline reports that Caffee is an owner-operator who runs team with her husband, Bob, for FedEx Custom Critical. “Not only is the project a good English skills lesson, but it also teaches geography and math. She says she sends her French students a record of her mileage on trips – which they convert to kilometers.”
Trucker Buddy International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization started in 1992 and dedicated to helping educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between professional truck drivers and children in grades K-8. Trucker Buddy matches classes of students with professional truck drivers. Every week drivers share news about their travels with their class.
Once a month, students write letters to their drivers. Students’ skills in reading, writing, geography, mathematics, social studies and history are enhanced, and learning is fun.
The program is just one example of the way the trucking community is involved beyond the highway. During the holiday season, it is common for trucking companies to donate trucks and time to deliver gifts to needy children and families. Following natural disasters, truck carriers often provide a valuable service in helping to deliver much-needed disaster relief equipment. And, as the Truck Buddy International program shows, truck drivers get involved in small ways to help the education of children around the world.
There are many reasons to consider training for a career as a professional truck driver and another is that the trucking industry is a community that often cares for others and there are many ways for a professional truck driver to get involved in order to help others. Some see the trucking industry as being one big community, and that that provide drivers with a sense of accomplishment that can be hard to find in other jobs. If you are looking for a new career training opportunity then training for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) may be an opportunity worth considering.