We give News 8 Golden Apple Awards to anybody that has a positive influence on kids and teaches them important lessons. This week we surprise Brighton School Bus Driver Marty Freeman.
Cyndi Gowan wrote a Golden Apple nomination we had to respond to. Her boys Aidan and August ride on Marty's bus. Cyndi read us part of her letter. "Dear Channel 8, Mr. Marty may not be an actual teacher, but he has had such a positive impact on the lives of the children that ride his bus that I think he deserves this award! As a teacher, I know how much the greater school community can affect the success of students and bus drivers are no exception. A child's experience on the bus can make the difference between a good and a bad day."
The school bus is Marty Freeman's classroom. We surprised him with a News 8 Golden Apple Award as the buses were loading outside Council Rock Primary School in Brighton. The kids call him Mr. Marty. He believes he plays an important role in their education. "I want them to be safe and happy, is the main thing that I try to do. To tell you the truth I learn a lot from the kids. We try to teach them safety mainly and to be good to their friends on the bus."
Dan Morotini is Transportation Director in the Brighton School District. "Absolutely they are teachers. The first person in the morning these kids see is the bus driver. It's very important to start off with a positive aspect. And in everything they do they lead by example. They're able to give the kids a good idea how a grown up acts and what's proper conduct, especially on the bus."
School bus drivers have difficult jobs. They drive big vehicles and keep little kids safe. Some days they spend almost as much time with students as teachers do. That's why Marty Freeman is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the rest of the letter Cyndi wrote to us below.
Dear Channel 8,
Mr. Marty may not be an actual teacher, but he has had such a positive impact on the lives of the children that ride his bus that I think he deserves this award! As a teacher, I know how much the greater school community can affect the success of students and bus drivers are no exception; a child's experience on the bus can make the difference between a good and a bad day.
My youngest son, now in kindergarten, has been diagnosed with Autism. More than for our older son, we worried that the bus ride would be so stressful that he would be unable to be engaged at school. Not with Mr. Marty. Every day, Mr. Marty goes the extra mile to help him be successful on the bus to start him feeling positive about his day. Little things like waiting a little extra so that Augie feels safe in his seat before driving off or getting up each afternoon to help him put his backpack back on before he gets off show the children how much he cares. I don't think I could have more respect for Mr. Marty's quiet, caring demeanor and the kindness he shows to his passengers.
I may not know his last name, but I do know that each school day my children will arrive at school safely and happily, feeling ready to start their day and I know that my children adore him. I hope you will consider Mr. Marty for this award.
Cyndi, Aidan & August Gowan