BOISE -- An old firehouse turned community wellness center is offering up some exciting programs for local kids.

One of the fun educational programs at Firehouse 6 on North Liberty Street is Open Book Adventures, a reading program for at-risk kids, run by high school mentors.

The program was put together by Capital High student Peter Huang, who was inspired by his own struggles with reading after his family moved to the U.S. from Taiwan.

When I was young, my English wasn't up to par with my grade level, said Huang.

Now, the 30 kids enrolled are reaping the benefits.

It's just for them to experience a safe environment where they have high school mentors, said Huang. Of course the other aspect of the program is hopefully we can encourage kids to pursue reading and writing outside of school.

Firehouse 6 seemed like the perfect place to do it. An old firehouse, purchased earlier this year, now renovated into a community wellness center.

Our goal was to create a community center that involved not only fitness but a variety of activities, said Sharon Boland. The students at Capital HS got involved with helping us renovate the facility.

Now, many of those students serve as mentors for the reading program. Huang teamed up with One Stone, a student-run, non-profit organization that combines service with experiential learning.

You can work with younger people, especially elementary school students and show them what's fun about reading, said Huang.

He's taught me a lot of lessons, said Boland of Huang. He's the type of kid it's not what you can do for me, it's what I can do for others.

The student mentors are making an impact too.

It's refreshing to see high school kids, giving for the sake of giving, said Boland.

It's an eight week program, and Huang plans to run another session after Christmas.

For more information about Firehouse 6 and Open Book Adventures click here.

Read or Share this story: