Trucker Buddy news
Students want to be like ‘Slim Jim’
Jim Crofut has been the Trucker Buddy of Marilyn Slater’s 3rd grade class at Jesse Keen Elementary School in Lakeland, FL for more than two years. Jim drives for Gene Hyde out of Lakeland, FL and has been with them since 2003.
Last year, “Slim Jim,” as he is known to his class, constantly went out of his way to help the students in Slater’s class. For their “Fall Festival,” Jim got donations to pay for everyone’s admission and to give the children extra spending money to buy treats while at the festival.
Not only did he correspond frequently all year, but he also visited the school as often as he could, making sure each child could actually touch his truck and get their pictures taken while standing in front of it.
Following are some students’ comments about Slim Jim: “He is the best of all the other truckers, and I wish to be like Slim Jim when I grow up.” “I would like Slim Jim to be nominated because he is the best Trucker Buddy I have ever had.” “He is nice to me and he let’s us look in his truck.” “He gives us Slim Jims every time he comes over to my school and he is a very hard working man. That is why I think Slim Jim should be nominated.”
Each Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month receives a personalized jacket, along with a check for $300 to spend on the class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise.
Crofut is among some 3,500 other professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a professional truck driver with a CDL who is willing to send a postcard each week to a class in grades two through eight. Drivers and teachers can find out more about the program by visiting truckerbuddy.org or calling 1-800-MY-BUDDY.
Trucker Buddy International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen-pal relationship between professional truck drivers and children in grades two through eight. Trucker Buddy matches classes of students with professional truck drivers, and 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 becomes fun.