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Six-Year-Old Chides State Ed. Official for Not Reading

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A Utah 1st-grader has offered tips to make books fun to a state education official who is admittedly apathetic about reading.

Six-year-old Daniel Stephenson made his suggestions to Daryl McCarty, a recently appointed associate state superintendent of schools for internal affairs, in a letter to the editor of The Salt Lake Tribune.

He advised: "Make a paper chain and add a new loop for every book you read. Every time you look at the chain, you want it to get longer so you want to read more."

He also suggested that Mr. McCarty could read in bed, under the covers with a flashlight, and noted that, as an adult, he could stay up later reading. Mr. McCarty said in an interview that in his 52 years he has read only three or four books from cover to cover.

The boy, whose father helped him compose the letter, said Mr. McCarty could start with short books and work up to longer ones about "real people" such as Abra-ham Lincoln and Sitting Bull.

"Since you are a leader of schools you should try to set an example," the letter concluded. "You should try to like reading. If you keep trying, you can't help but like it."

Mr. McCarty--who served for 20 years as an administrator for the Utah Education Association and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1974 and 1976--said he doesn't plan to take the boy's advice.

Reading, said Mr. McCarty, is "just not my forte."

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