'More than Mr. Herman being a bus driver I’m now Mr. Herman someone to help them read,' he said.
"Purple cat, looking at me," reads a child, to which Herman Cruise responds: "You are getting better at this, man." He high-fives the kid as the young student walks away with a book. "Be good, alright," adds Cruise. Although he is the sort of teacher any child would love to learn from, by profession Cruise is a school driver at Middle Township Elementary School who runs a reading program that is open to all, reports Good Morning America.
It all started when Cruise began looking for ways to pass time between his shifts. He noticed a child who wanted to read and Cruise decided to help the youngster. "I told Miss Byron (Kindergarten teacher) that, you know, 'I’ll come in, spend some time with him,'" he shared.
The program quickly blossomed and soon other students wanted to be part of it. Byron said, "More kids started to see Mr. Herman and going, 'Can I read with him? Can I go talk to him?' And it just really exploded into just Mr. Herman being in here and just being such a positive entity in our building." She added that their "goal is to keep this going."
"If it was to up to him, he would move in," said Byron. Cruise agrees as he loves spending time with the kids. He said: "More than Mr. Herman being a bus driver I'm now Mr. Herman someone to help them read. Get the lights turned on and inspire them to do even greater things in the classroom."
"There is no telling how many kids because all are invited," he added.
Cruise wants to continue his reading program for a long time. "I think the future is good. As long as God’s blessing me with life to keep 'Mr. Herman’s Kids' going, I’m going to do my part," he said.
However, he still does love driving kids to and fro from school. "When I was in the second grade, when the teachers would ask the children what is [it] that you want to do when you grow up, without hesitation I said I want to drive buses. The beautiful thing about being a school bus driver is, for all intents and purposes I'm another parent. Just for a little while," he explained.
There is another bus driver who cares about his children as much as Cruise. On December 11, 2018, when Wayne Price got a call that the school would be opening two hours late due to icy cold weather and fog, he made sure that the 50 students he drives to school wouldn't go hungry in the morning.
He made a detour to McDonald's to pick up a special order. "When I got to McDonald's, I asked the manager, 'Can you turn around 50 biscuits in 15 minutes, and can you give me as good of a deal as possible?' He gave me a dollar deal and we just turned it around," Price told TODAY. "They really hustled with other customers in the store and I walked out with a box load of biscuits for my kids."
"When the kids got on I said, 'So, what do ya want? Sausage? McMuffin?" he laughed. "I got some sweet kids and I get really attached to them... they were really appreciative. I dunno. I just love my kids. I got lots of fist pumps, lots of high-fives, lots of 'Love you Mr. Price,' lots of 'Thank you, Mr. Price.'"