"It's wonderful," says Jeanette Monteith, teacher at Greencastle Antrim. "It's a dying art."
It's a part of the Trucker Buddy international program where classrooms are paired up with a truck driver throughout the school year. Now Texas native James Malone is finally getting to meet his pen pals for the first time, and the kids were beside themselves.
"I was very excited to write him a letter, too, and I thought he'd never come," says Alyssa Hollowell, a 2nd grader.
Teachers say nothing quite compares to this kind of real-world teaching and learning duo. Students have fun while building their communication skills.
"They're so excited," says Monteith. "The best writing I've gotten out of them is when they're excited to write to Mr. Malone."
The kids learn the art of writing a traditional letter, and they learn where this rig has been, a lesson in geography and history
James Malone says why he loves the Trucker Buddy program.
"Teaching them how to write, how to add," says James Malone. "Teaching them where different places are in the United States."
"We also do problem solving with it, like how many miles did Mr .Malone travel on this trip? How many did he travel on the next trip? Which one was more?" says Monteith.
A math riddle and the joy of an unexpected friendship was the lesson plan of the day for these kids.
Monteith says while the kids will continue to pen pal with Malone via snail mail, she hopes Skype will become a part of their correspondence.