Fred Immoor: Professional Grandpa
Every so often, an unsung hero comes along who gives so much to others and asks nothing in return.
Fred Immoor is this kind of hero.
Any student at South Tahoe Middle School will tell you “Grandpa Fred” is someone special.
Immoor began volunteering in Holly Greenough’s classroom at STMS two years ago, after taking a sign language class from her at Lake Tahoe Community College.
Severely hearing impaired, Immoor speaks clearly but reads lips and sign language to understand others.
“Holly is my sign language teacher,” Immoor said. “Two years ago, I started with Holly in her summer sign language class. When the class was finished, she asked me if I could help with her summer class, the regular school curriculum.”
Immoor is dedicated to helping students improve their reading skills and much more.
“I find it so rewarding to be able to help children with not only school problems but other problems as well,” he said. “I try to turn a lot of the kids around and make them understand that gangs are not the way to go. The choices they’re going to make in middle school can set their entire future.”
Greenough said Grandpa Fred plays an instrumental role in her classroom of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
“He believes in these kids when nobody else does,” Greenough said. “There’s not a day that goes by when he’s in here that he doesn’t make me teary-eyed. He loves these kids so dearly and there’s nothing attached. It’s totally selfless.”
According to Greenough, when a student shows Immoor a report for another class, he’s been known to rush out and buy a cover for it.
“He also made each of the kids wooden hearts for Valentine’s Day,” Greenough said. “And when we studied World War II, he really took it seriously. I mean, he really did his homework. He wrote out stories to tell them about his experiences during the Depression.”
Immoor not only hangs out with the kids when class is in session, he also talks with them in the hallways and during lunch.
“He’ll just walk around the halls and talk with them,” Greenough said. “He’s always there for them. He loves these kids and they love him.”
Immoor said his main goal is to help students grow as scholars and as people.
“Any teacher can teach an A-grade student, but it takes a really good teacher to teach a kid who is struggling,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do in our class. We want to prepare them the best we can for high school with reading and other subjects.”
A retired freight salesman, Immoor now focuses his efforts on the children.
“My main concern is that I can help these kids become better readers,” he said. “We have seen such progress, but there are still some kids who are struggling with small words.”
Immoor was once offered a paycheck for his services. He refused.
“My reward is when a child looks at me and says, ‘Grandpa, I can read,'” Immoor said. “That’s when I say, ‘Paid in full.'”
Here are some sentiments from Holly Greenough’s students about “Grandpa Fred”
n He can’t always hear us but he always listens. Some days he’s my right arm and some days he’s my left, but he always is my smile and my reminder of why I teach; it’s about the kids. -Ms. Greenough
— Grandpa Fred helped me with my homework. He makes me feel very special. -Alberto Chavez
— He took my clay mask home and mounted it to a piece of wood. He helps me read when he comes to class. -Bobby Smith
— Grandpa Fred always says hi when he sees me and he always shakes my hand, sometimes he helps me with my work. -V.L.
— Grandpa Fred is like family because he loves us and we love him. He is willing to do anything for us. -Kourtney Pierce
— He helped me work on my current event homework. He is always there for us and he will always be there all the time in our hearts. -Matt Johnston
— Grandpa Fred helped me do my book report. He treats me like a grandson and makes me feel very important. -Victor Mariscal
— Grandpa Fred is like family because he is always there when you need him. He helps when you don’t understand your homework. -Karina Garcia
— Grandpa Fred helps me spell words by sounding them out. He helped me with my book report. -Ashley Pesci
— Grandpa Fred is special because he helped me look up words in the dictionary for my language arts class. -Shane Collins
— Grandpa Fred helped me draw the cage to put the bird in for the Indian toy he made for each of us. It was a Christmas present we gave to our family. -Tommy Brazos
— He helps me write my homework assignments in my journal. -Chris Lane
— He helped me put a lot of effort into learning my states and capitals. -Colt Leasure
— Grandpa Fred helped me read in front of the class. -Adam Ramos
— He showed and explained to me how to put the right words in the right places on the homework in Ms. Greenough’s class. -Ricky Taylor
— He helps me learn how to read. -Natalie Smith
— He always raises my spirits when I’m sad. -Martin Meyer
— He has a smile every time I see him and a friendly handshake. -Luis Estrada
— He’s determined to help us learn. -Kevin Camezon
— He’s the grandpa I never had. -Angela Denner
— He helped me by teaching me about World War II. -Antonio Mendoza
— He got me a cover for my science report. He also got me a book to help me read better. One day I was really sad then Grandpa Fred came and talked to me and dried my tears. -Krystal Pierce
— I feel like I have known him since the day I was born. -Ricardo Perez
— He got me the stuff I really needed and he gets me through school. He always has a smile on his face. -Robert Reed
— He helps me with my reading. -Yesenia Rangel
— He always says hi in the halls. -Nick Kallenbach
— Grandpa Fred has a heart of gold. He always has a smile and friendly greeting for everybody. We all love and adore him. -Sandi Hamm
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