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Middle Township School Reading Program Gains National Attention, Featured on NBC’s TODAY Show

Mar 6, 2023

Mr. Herman’s Kids earns national news recognition and receives big surprise for entire school

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Middle Township Elementary #1 students and dedicated staff members received a very special surprise in February. The TODAY Show, along with host Jenna Bush Hager, paid the school a visit to recognize a new reading program and provide each student with a book to take home with them.  

Elementary #1 Students lined up outside to surprise school bus driver

Elementary #1 students lined up outside to surprise school bus driver, Herman Cruse, for his dedicated work to the school.

Pre-taped on February 13, the TODAY Show segment aired on Read Across America Day, March 2, and filled viewers’ eyes with tears. “Get your tissues ready,” said Bush Hager in her teaser on Thursday morning.  

The reading program provides Elementary #1 students with one-on-one time with Mr. Herman Cruse, a bus driver for the district, who spends time in between pick up and drop off helping them with reading skills. Mr. Herman’s Kids started last school year and has grown into a household name with students, staff and community members. 

Herman Cruse and Jenna Bush Hagar posing for a photo in front of A28 bus during Today Show filming

MTSD bus driver, Herman Cruse and Today Show Host, Jenna Bush Hagar posing for a photo in front of A28 bus during Today Show filming.

While Cruse was interviewed by Bush Hager in the school’s Media Center, a big surprise was taking place outside. Students gathered with “We Love Mr. Herman” signs while county officials, district administrators and board members hid in Cruse’s A28 bus with hundreds of books. As Bush Hager and Cruse made their way outside, students cheered with pom poms and smiles to welcome the bus driver. It was an emotional moment for Cruse. 

“I’m just a bus driver… I don’t even know what to say,” said Cruse. 

The TODAY Show host presented Cruse with a plaque for the reading corner he works with students in and over 1,000 books donated by Scholastic for the school to keep and for students to take home with them.

To read more, click here: https://www.today.com/parents/jenna-bush-hager-surprises-school-bus-driver-helps-students-reading-rcna73071