Robert “Bob” Cravens, a Wal-Mart driver, has been named April Trucker Buddy of the Month after his nomination by Pat De Long, a third-grade teacher at Liberty Elementary School in Rocky Ford, Colo.
De Long says she and Cravens have been working together in the Trucker Buddy program for more than 17 years.
"I want to thank you for honoring the people who give the extra time and effort to make a difference in the lives of our students as a Trucker Buddy,” she said in her nomination.
“I am writing this letter to let you know the many reasons why Robert Cravens deserves the honor of Trucker Buddy of the Month. First of all, he has probably been a Trucker Buddy longer than most other drivers. He has corresponded with my students for the past 16 years. Now that is dedication and an accomplishment in itself!
“Bob gives my students a reason to write a letter or a postcard. They sometimes correspond by sending an e-mail. This helps them become more proficient writers. They enjoy receiving the letters and postcards from Bob, too. He is the only person they receive mail from, whether at school or home. In his letters, Bob tells my students which states he is driving in and what he is hauling in his truck. My students are becoming familiar with the Midwestern states as they locate Bob’s whereabouts on our class map.”
De Long also praised Cravens as an amazing role model for her students noting that he volunteers in his community and encourages the students to do the same. He has sent pictures of himself cooking chili and frying catfish to raise money for various charities, like the Children’s Miracle Network. “This is important for my students to see because I hope it will change their way of thinking from ‘What’s in it for me?’ to ‘What can I do to help others?’” she said.
Cravens shares his personal life with the students, too. When his dog passed away, the children wrote letters of sympathy to him. When he got a new dog from a shelter, De Long says the students were excited to see the pictures and glad their Trucker Buddy had a new companion. “It was good for my students to learn how people can rescue animals from shelters,” she said.
In conclusion, De Long wrote: “Bob has enriched the lives of my students for many years and in many ways. Trucker Buddy International should feel honored to have him on their team. Thank you for considering Robert Cravens for this honor. As you can see, I believe he deserves this recognition for all he has done."
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