Registration Underway for Program that Offers Students the Chance to "Discover America"
September 26, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education NewsCelebrating its 15th anniversary during the 2006-2007 school year, the Discover America program offers thousands of students a unique and fun way to learn geography, math, writing and history. Through the program, students are introduced to national landmarks by a truck-driving pen pal who asks them to calculate real-life situations such as mileage, travel time and fuel usage and tests their knowledge of national landmarks, rivers and states.
Brought to schools by Mayflower Transit, the Discover America program is free, and the curriculum covers the school year from September to May. Annually, more than 10,000 students around the country take this guided tour of the United States – without ever leaving their classrooms. The program is designed for fourth and fifth grade students, and schools can sign up by calling (636) 349-7496 or visiting http://www.mayflower.com/may/teachers. In addition to classrooms, the program is also open to Scouting troops in that age range, as well as home-schooled children. Each year, approximately 50 Mayflower Transit agents located across the country participate in the educational program.
Sam Shaheen of Shaheen Moving and Storage in Canton, Ohio, has participated in the Discover America program for three years and believes it to be a great asset to the community. “It brings geography and other lessons to life for the students,” he says. “We really enjoy providing this service, because it is making an impact on our youth.”
Discover America began in 1991 in Indianapolis when a local school wanted to have a Mayflower truck driver, who happened to be named Bob, meet with fourth graders. “The visit was such a hit that the school district asked that ‘Driver Bob’ visit all its schools, and the students thought Bob was so interesting that they all wanted him to be their pen pal,” said Linda Nosko, Discover America program coordinator. “Before long, the program was too big for Bob to manage and therefore Discover America was born.”
The Discover America program kicks off at the beginning of the school year with a truck driver, known to students as Driver Bob, visiting the classrooms around the country and giving a firsthand tour of a moving van. From October through the end of the school year, students receive personal letters, postcards, souvenirs and other mementos from the road that showcase Driver Bob’s latest stop. Students can also follow Driver Bob’s travels on his Web site, http://www.mayflower.com/may/driverbob/.
“We are proud to offer an educational program that is as comprehensive, realistic and fun as Discover America,” said Nosko. “Many Mayflower agents have been sponsoring local classrooms for years and have found that teachers make it a practice to incorporate Discover America into their curriculums. We work closely with teachers to ensure that the materials in the Discover America program match up with their educational goals.”
Enrollment in Discover America is taking place now through the beginning of September. Interested teachers, parents or group leaders can register by calling (636) 349-7496 or visiting http://www.mayflower.com/may/teachers. Local Mayflower agents are responsible for enrolling classes in the program – all that is needed from schools is the name, number of fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms participating, number of students in these classes, teachers’ names and the principal’s signature on the enrollment form.
*Some schools are unable to have a personal visit from a driver due to location or availability.
About Mayflower Transit
Mayflower Transit, founded in 1927, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest van lines, and transports household goods, electronic equipment, trade show exhibits and displays, works of art and specialized freight, utilizing a network of 700 affiliated agents throughout the United States and around the world. Mayflower’s headquarter offices are located in suburban St. Louis, Mo. Further information about the company is available at www.mayflower.com.