Sharon Cunningham, a teacher at Hayes Grade Center in Ada, Oklahoma has nominated her Trucker Buddy and husband of Michael Cunningham, a driver for Walmart as the Trucker Buddy of the Month. Mrs. Cunningham tells us about her experience with Trucker Buddy.
“I found out about this program through Michael as he has carried
a few prized possessions around the country for other classrooms
and he suggested that I participate in the program this year.
After I found out how to get started, signed up, and was matched
with Michael, I introduced Hayes the Trucking Buddy to my class-
room. To say the students were a little excited would be putting it
mildly. They chose the clothes he would wear for the trip, items for
his backpack, and decorated his journal. Then we waited.
On a Friday morning in October, Michael showed up at our school
in his Walmart uniform, driving his truck and pulling a Walmart
Educational Blind Spot Trailer.
Michael presented a safety program to 450 first and second grade
overly excited students and said two words that one must never
say in that situation, “Everyone and “Run.” Well, they all did!
They ran to the side of the trailer, the back of the trailer, to the
front of the trailer, and if Michael wasn’t several feet taller than
the students, one would have never noticed he was a little older
than most first and second graders.
The students, many of whom have never been that close to a
truck before listened intently to his presentation and many of
my fellow teachers stated, even they were not aware a truck
had blind spots and that is takes so long for a loaded semi to
stop. The students on the other hand, were fascinated by the
fact there was a bed in the truck, and many have decided they
now want to be truck drivers.
After the safety presentation, Michael accommodated all 450
students as they toured the inside of his tractor. He assisted our
students in wheelchairs, answered hundreds of questions, and
volunteered his time unconditionally.
Not only was the safety presentation educational, my class project has turned into a school wide activity. Hayes the Trucking Buddy has become a familiar part of our school. Our website posts regular updates of his travels, my interactive bulletin board is visited on a daily basis, and every Monday morning during our school assembly, Hayes makes an appearance during the slide show. In addition, Michael has written letters to our school and visits us on Fridays when he can. The students think a lot of him and are learning so many important things about the country in which they live! None of this would be possible if it were not for our driver Michael!”