Long before the sun comes up over Capitol Hill High School, Miss Matilda Canty is planning breakfast and after school snacks for each and every student along her bus route.
“Matilda is fabulous,” Linda Pelton said. “She is one in a million. Oklahoma City is blessed I think to have the best bus drivers in the world. They know our kids. They know their families. They know when there’s need.”
Linda is a teacher at the high school. Not only does she see Miss Matilda behind the wheel of her bus, she also sees all she does behind the scenes – like caring for her granddaughter and meeting the needs of the students who depend on her each day.
“She has personally made sure that her riders have winter coats, and they have snacks in the morning and snacks in the afternoon if they’re hungry, and she takes care of all of them,” Linda said.
That is why Linda nominated Matilda for Pay It 4Ward.
“Linda, First Fidelity Bank is thrilled to give this $400 to Matilda for her caring heart and the compassion that she has for the students who ride her bus every day,” Haley Yager of First Fidelity Bank said. “I’m going to count it out and then hand it to you because it’s windy. One, two, three, four hundred.”
“That looks like four hundred brand new ones to me,” Linda said.
And right on cue, Miss Matilda’s bus pulls up to the school.
“My name is Joleen Chaney. I’m with News 4. We have a program called Pay It 4Ward, and you were nominated by Linda.”
“Hello, my dear friend. I have for you one, two, three, four hundred dollars from First Fidelity Bank to say thank you.”
“This is my heart,” Matilda said. “These kids I love them.”
Matilda has been driving a school bus for 39 years – the last eight and a half in Oklahoma City.
“We go out of our way to support them and make sure that they everything that they need,” she said.
Sometimes it takes a village – helping children navigate much more than the school bus stop.
“If they need food, if they need clothes, if they need book bags, whatever, I make sure that I go out of my way to get it for them,” Matilda said.
Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.