Ron Wagganer has been named February 2013 Trucker Buddy of the Month for his work with Dena Mayerfeld’s sixth through eighth grade class at Sinai School in River Edge, N.Y.
Mayerfeld said she and her class are honored and most appreciative to have Wagganer, a USRA Logistics driver, as their Trucker Buddy, saying he has enriched their writing lessons, curriculum and their ability to articulate thoughts clearly. He has helped her student’s perspective, understanding and insight into someone else’s life.
Mayerfeld speaks highly of Wagganer, saying: “We are a class of 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys in a Jewish Special Education school. My boys and I have been corresponding with Mr. Wagganer since September and it has been the greatest of pleasures from the onset. Writing, as well as many other skills, do not come easily to this group.
“Mr. Wagganer has been positive, sensitive and conscientious about our correspondence. He has sent us numerous pictures of his truck and his family and has enlightened us on all aspects of trucks, truckers and trucking. His words are always warm, positive and resonate with tremendous enthusiasm for his family, his trucks and life. His letters provide the excitement and motivation for much of our writing curriculum.
“We have a Trucker Buddy International bulletin board in the back of our classroom and display all of the correspondence and pictures that Ron has graciously sent. We also featured this pen pal project at our Parent Day presentation, where parents are invited to participate in our lessons. We showed a slide presentation, using some of the pictures that Ron had sent us. Each boy narrated a slide and presented the Hurricane Sandy letters that they had written to Ron in the wake of the super storm.
“The value that Ron places on the boys’ responses have exceeded our wildest expectations: He brought the letters, in which the students wrote about their personal experiences during Hurricane Sandy, to the editor of his local newspaper and asked to have these letters printed. The editor actually followed up with a feature about the Trucker Buddy pen pal project between Ron and our class. Needless to say, seeing their words in print was an experience for them, a unique and rare moment in the sun.”
In addition, Mayerfeld says Wagganer has been an outstanding role model of responsibility, sensitivity, friendship and understanding. He imparts much knowledge about his profession, the country and life to her class. Above all, she says his passion for all that he is and does is contagious and has generated warm and positive feelings in each boy, motivating that young man to reach ever higher.
Mayerfeld concludes, “The boys and I sincerely hope that we ‘keep on truckin’ with Ronald Wagganer for a very long time.”
The River Edge, N.J., area was hit by Sandy and a local newspaper in Ron's hometown did an article on the relationship between him and the class especially after Sandy.
Trucker Buddy International, an independent, nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, often called the number one trucking image campaign in North America, has helped educate schoolchildren and introduce educators to the trucking industry. This gives them the world through the eyes of a professional truck driver. The Trucker Buddy program helps to educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between professional truck drivers and children in grades K-8 as supervised by their teachers.
After an extensive screening process, the professional truck drivers are matched with a class and as directed by the teacher, drivers share news about their travels with their class. Students write letters and send pictures to their drivers. Students' skills in reading, writing, geography, mathematics, social studies, and history are enhanced and learning is made fun.
Since 1992, Trucker Buddy International has helped educate over one million schoolchildren and introduced them to caring, compassionate men and women, professional truck drivers. The on-going success of the program is due to driver volunteers, participating teachers and the contributions of sponsors. There is no cost to the drivers or teachers to participate in the program. The Trucker Buddy of the Month is sponsored by Daimler Truck Products and includes, Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Detroit and Progressive Commercial Insurance. Each class of the winning TBOM receives a gift pack of snacks from Frito-Lay. The Trucker Buddy program is funded entirely by sponsorships and donations.
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