MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, New Jersey -- Mr. Herman always knew he wanted to be a bus driver. But his new passion is helping children learn how to read.
"The beautiful thing about being a school bus driver, for all intents and purposes, I'm another parent," he said. "Just for that little while coming to school."
Herman, who lives in Egg Harbor City, accepted a job in the Middle Township School District in 2014. With a roughly 40-minute commute each day, he was always looking for a way to pass the time in between shifts.
"I would go to the gym. Sometimes I would just sit in my car and go to sleep," he said. "But I saw one particular student, he wanted to read."
Herman communicated with Kindergarten teacher Alexandrea Byron and set up a time to come help the student develop his reading skills. But it wasn't just a one-time thing.
"More kids started to see Mr. Herman and going, well, can I read with him? Can I go talk to him?" said Byron.
"And it really just exploded into just Mr. Herman being in here and just being such a positive entity in our building."
Now, the fondly-named "Mr. Herman's Kids" reading program is open to all students at Middle Township Elementary School #1.
Three days per week, the titular Mr. Herman pulls out a handful of kids and reads with them one-on-one. And he isn't going to stop anytime soon.
"As long as God's blessing me with life to keep Mr. Herman's Kids going, I'm going to do my part," said Mr. Herman.