Marv and Karen Proehl are what you could call honorary grandparents to all the kids at an elementary school in Nampa.
They started the Grandparent Reading Program at Lake Ridge Elementary, and the students' confidence and reading skills are soaring.
They are tonight's 7's Heroes.
These Nampa kids are turning into amazing readers, thanks to Marv and Karen Proehl.
“You get to know these kids and they are fabulous little people,” said Karen.
“And they really want to be with you!” exclaimed Marv.
They started the Grandparent Reading Program here at Lake Ridge Elementary.
They did it because they have grandkids here, and because they want to help students learn to read.
“Watching those kids grow from the beginning of the year to the end of the year is the goal that we want to see,” said Marv.
“And if kids don't learn to read by second, third grade, they kind of get lost in the system,” said Karen.
“I like it because we get to read fun books,” said Elorie Fickel.
“He helps me to sound out those words that I can't read,” said Diego Alfaro.
“It makes me better at reading and to better understand my words,” said Jordan Koepple.
“We get to improve our reading," said Elorie.
“And it helps me read more fluently," said Jordan.
“It's been an honor for him to be able to come in and do those things for us," said Diego.
“We've had a rough year but this is what makes it worthwhile,” said Marv.
It's been rough for the Proehls, because Karen was diagnosed with cancer.
“Our kids wrote letters and sent me cards,” said Karen.
“The teachers were really great, they knew I had to take her for treatments and that so...” said Marv
“I missed a lot of school this year,” said Karen.
And this year, they started something special.
They are awarding bikes to the most improved students this year!
"For an incentive towards reading," said Karen.
"So we got 12 bikes for the school this year..." said Marv.
"12 bikes! Haha!" replied Karen.
The Proehls tried to get the bikes donated, but that was easier said than done. They ended up footing the bill for most of them. They say it was well worth it!
They were there to help award the bikes.
"It was a way for us to say thank you to the students for the effort that they did through the school year," said Marv. "We didn't do it for any of this, we did it because we want to see these people become our next leaders.
"That is the most important thing for you to improve your reading and that is what we're here for," he added.
These volunteer grandparents say they will keep coming back...
"Till they throw us out!!!" said Karen.
Marv and Karen Proehl,
"It's fun! Keeps us young!" said Marv.