MarketplaceContestsNick's Heroes

Actions

Nick's Heroes: Retired neurosurgeon helps kids learn to read

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 20:30:28-05

A Valley neurosurgeon had no idea he was diving head first into his new mission in life after putting down the scalpel and picking up a book, but in the process, he has helped change hundreds of lives.

"I retired, but I want to do something and I thought, 'what can I do?'"

And that answer was A LOT for retired Phoenix neurosurgeon, Fred Christensen.

He started volunteering at Navajo Elementary School more than a decade ago, helping kids make sense of numbers and math.

But then, the school added a new challenge and he turned the page on his next mission: helping kids learn to read.

"There's some kids who just can't get in their minds that a letter has a sound and that is part of a word. With a lot of individual repetition, they begin to get it."

Each year, Dr. Christensen and his team of 80 volunteers help dozens of kids, making a huge difference for the entire school.

"Learning reading is very important but then the love of reading so the students become better readers. And students getting that buddy mentality, they do a great job." explains Principal Matt Patzlaff.
"Having the opportunity to follow them through the years, it's amazing to see how something clicks!"

And it's amazing to see the difference you've made in the lives of hundreds of students! Dr. Fred Christensen, that is why you are one of Nick's Heroes!

All around us in the Valley, people go above and beyond to help make our community even better. We want to know who they are! Nominate someone today and tell us why they should be one of Nick's Heroes. They could win a $500 gift card from our friends at your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Learn how to watch ABC15 Arizona with NextGen TV

How to watch ABC15 on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android TV