This Buddy keeps it real
Trucker Buddy drivers bring the world into the classroom. Mona Van Duyn helps her students learn by sending them rocks and minerals, coal, wooden nickels and badges, and lots and lots of photos and postcards. “Miss Mona’s contributions make what we are learning about in the classroom more real for the children,” says teacher Nancy Powell.
Powell is a teacher at Pharr Elementary School in Snellville, GA, and she has been matched with Trucker Buddy Mona Van Duyn for more than three years. She nominated Van Duyn because, as she says, Mona “has done a phenomenal job.” Powell teaches a multi-age class, where many of the students correspond with the driver for two years. “They have really been able to develop a rapport with Mona through their correspondence,” Powell says, adding that their driver “answers each child’s questions, and she shares information about herself.”
The students drew pictures with their nomination letters, and one of the children’s drawings is by Morgan, who wrote, “We are happy that Miss Mona is our Trucker Buddy. She is very good to us.”
Wrote Alexis, “She gave us stuff that we learn about. We love her!”
Mona Van Duyn and her husband, Carl, are independent operators running under their own authority. They live in Auburndale, FL. This past year they brought each child a personal card and gift bag at holiday time. They also taught the children how to complete a logbook and showed them what a typical day in a big rig is like.
Mona joined the Trucker Buddy program in 2002, and she has been matched with Nancy Powell for the past three years. Mona is one of nearly 4,000 professional drivers who share their time and energy with elementary classes throughout the world. The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a truck driver 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 www.truckerbuddy.org or calling 1-800-MY BUDDY.
Mona will receive a personalized jacket, along with a check for $300 to spend on the class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise, compliments of MultiMedia. Over the Road and Pro Trucker magazines are proud sponsors of the Trucker Buddy program.