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Liz Overcomes Homelessness in America



Liz Overcomes Homelessness in America
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 1 to 3
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.37

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bright, bills, buses, couches, dreams, education, emotional, especially, estimate, hardworking, inspirational, jobs, medical, mentor, scholarship, sleek
     content words:    Liz Murray, New York, New York Times, Harvard University


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Liz Overcomes Homelessness in America
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Liz Murray has bright eyes and a dazzling smile. She has sleek, dark hair. You would never guess that she has faced many challenges in her life. Her story inspired a TV movie. It was called Homeless to Harvard. Liz hopes that her story will make people aware of homelessness in America.
 
2     Liz was born in the Bronx, New York. Her parents used drugs. They were poor. Both of her parents were sick. They had AIDS. Her mother bought drugs instead of food. Her mother was also blind. She died when Liz was only 15. Liz's father moved into a homeless shelter. Liz moved to the streets.
 
3     Liz still wanted to follow her dreams. Can you imagine being homeless at the age of 15? Liz did not give up. She stayed at friends' houses. She slept on their couches. She even slept on buses at night. She had one good friend who helped her have some fun, but Liz did not want to be homeless all the time. Liz decided that education was the key to her future.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Draw a picture of a house for a homeless family. Pretend that you are a rich person who will give this house to a needy family. Draw a picture of the family who will receive the house in your picture. Write a paragraph describing the family.

2.  Many people are homeless, and it would be hard to select the right family to receive a new home. Write a list of five interview questions you would ask each potential family that wanted to receive a new home. Include the answer for each question that you would like to see in order for the family to receive the new home.



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