Bette Von Feldt, Paul Shea, and Katy Greenwalt are 4th and 5th grade teachers at Folk Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin and all utilize the Trucker Buddy program. Chris Winkler a driver with Zernicke Trucking has been nominated and won the October Trucker Buddy of the Month award for outstanding service
to his classroom. Winkler lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Chris couldn't wait to get the new year started and the first
day of school arrived, He had an email waiting for the
students so he could introduce himself to the new
classroom. As a Trucker Buddy, he emails the students
several times each week. He includes math problems for
the students to do, which they love. All of the students know
that the maximum weight Chris is allowed to carry is
80,000 pounds. He will tell them the weight of each of the
drops he made, and then ask them to figure out if he was
under weight or over weight.
“It has been great that Chris incorporates academics into his
emails. We have a "Trucker Buddy Chris" bulletin board up
in one of our classrooms so the kids can keep track of where
Chris is. This adds a geography component to his emails,
and Chris always lets the kids know where he started from
and each place he stops to drop off a load. He also sends
photos of places he has been, so the students can "see"
different parts of the country they have not been to before.”
said Ms. Reenwalt.
To add to all of this, Chris has already stopped by the school
to visit the class. Chris drove his purple truck to the school and came in to meet all of the students and answer their many questions. Each student got to sit in his truck and see all of the interesting things inside, which was really exciting. This created a bond between Chris and the classroom that he can use to encourage them to succeed.
The three teachers wrote a letter to nominate Chris and said, “We took pictures of each student, and we made a book of the photos along with decorated thank you letters which we sent to Chris. This also helps our students academically with their written language skills. Trucker Buddy Chris encourages the students to do well in school. He told them how he had always wanted to be a trucker and what he did to achieve his dream. This encourages our students to believe in their dreams as well.”
Some of the student comments were:
I"I would like Trucker Buddy Chris to be the driver of the month because he is the greates guy and the nicest man."
"He sends us cards and emails 2 or 3 times a week and he answers all our questions."
"When he is far away he contacts us then he gives us story problems and some math problems too."
"When he came to our school he talked about his life and how he became a trucker. He sends us letters and pictures every week with math problems about him on the road delivering items."