Frank Nathanson, an owner-operator leased to Swift Transportation, was selected as the May ACS MultiMedia Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month. Beth Eder, an owner operator-leased to Marten Transport, was selected as the June recipient.
Both drivers are among 3,500 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 commercial driver’s license 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 going to www.truckerbuddy.org or calling 1-800-MY-BUDDY.
May Trucker Buddy
Nathanson was selected for his work in furthering the education of the third-grade students in Deborah Penney’s classroom at John S. Hobart Elementary School in Shirley, N.Y.
“Frank sends each child their own postcard from different parts of the United States,” Penney says. “He gives the children clues as to where he is. Then we have to guess to see if we are correct. The students love this game he plays with them.”
Samantha, a student in Penney’s class, says, “It is like a scavenger hunt because he gives us clues and postcards of where he is.”
Nathanson has been a Trucker Buddy for Penney’s class for the past two years. In addition to sending postcards every week from places he has been, he also has built a website especially for his class. “He has posted pictures of my classes [on the website],” Penney says. “He also scans the children’s letters that he has received and posts them on the website with his responses.”
The class said they enjoyed when Nathanson was able to visit the class last fall. “We got to interview him and learned lots of interesting information about him,” says another student, Elizabeth. “He can even speak five languages.”
Nathanson, a Trucker Buddy since 2005, lives in Staten Island, N.Y., and has been an owner-operator leased to Phoenix-based Swift for four years. During that time, he has received safe driving certificates all four years.
June Trucker Buddy
Third-graders at Delhi Elementary School in Delhi, Iowa, have a partner in education and a role model because of the volunteer efforts of Eder, a resident of Park Falls, Wis.
Eder – who has been with Mondovi, Wis.-based Marten Transport since 1996 and became a volunteer with Trucker Buddy in 2001 – goes beyond the basic requirements of the program, which includes sending a postcard once a week to the classroom. To supplement the geography lessons, Eder sends items from across the United States that represent the different parts of the country – tumbleweed from Texas, cotton from Alabama, cactus seeds from Arizona, chopsticks from China Town in San Francisco, and more.
Eder also takes pictures of herself and her dog, Teddi — a standard poodle who travels with her in her Peterbilt — next to notable or unique monuments and other landmarks. Eder also reads to the students by recording herself reading a children’s book and sending the tape to the class.