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Small Sparrows



Small Sparrows
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.52

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    helping, life-changing, outcome, transplant, appreciation, medical, teaching, marrow, leukemia, schools, family, exchange, news, bills, often, career
     content words:    Jeff Leeland, Sparrow Clubs USA, Sparrow Clubs, Sparrow Club, Clubs USA


Small Sparrows
By Jody Williams
  

1     In 1992, Jeff Leeland and his family found out life-changing news. Their fourth child became sick. He was diagnosed with leukemia. He did not have long to live. He needed a bone marrow transplant. Jeff and his wife could not afford the expensive surgery. Jeff was a teacher at the time.
 
2     Word spread around school that his child might die without this surgery. One day a student named Dameon walked into Jeff's office. His mom was with him. Dameon was a kid who did not fit in very well at school. He was often made fun of by others. He was in Jeff's special P.E. class. Dameon handed Jeff 12 five dollar bills. It was all he had in his savings account. Dameon faced his own struggles. That did not matter because all Dameon wanted to do was help. Jeff hugged him. He told him how much he appreciated him. Dameon left that office that day feeling like he could conquer the world. He knew he made a difference.
 
3     The news of Dameon's kindness was heard by many. The principal at Jeff's school started a savings account with the money that Dameon gave. That money was the seed to a huge outcome. Other students donated to the account. People in the community gave. Businesses donated. One person generously gave ten thousand dollars. The account grew from Dameon's seed of sixty dollars to over two hundred thousand dollars. That was more than enough for the transplant. Today, Jeff's son is a happy and healthy teenager. Dameon became a hero. Eight years after the transplant, Dameon became ill and passed away.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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