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Italian TV Getting an Expert to Discuss AIDS Problem

January 03, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Ryan White, the 14-year-old AIDS victim who has been banned from school but is continuing the battle to get back in the classroom, received Christmas presents and greetings from around the world and will fly to Rome next month to appear on Italian state television, his mother said. Jeanne White said in her home in Kokomo, Ind., that Ryan and her daughter, Andrea, 12, "are looking forward to it. I got him a suitcase for Christmas for the trip." She said the three will fly to Rome on Feb. 1 as guests of Italian state television. Lydia Griffin, U.S. correspondent for Italian TV, said the Italians are "interested in the problem of AIDS and the panic around it. They want to talk to Ryan about being in the middle of this for a year now--the social aspects of it." Ryan is a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS through a transfusion. His mother said he received many gifts and greetings from around the world this Christmas. "He got several stuffed bears," she said. "There were donations of money, mostly small bills. He spent a lot of it buying comic books. He likes comic books, so he nearly bought out the store."

--Scientists making their usual end-of-the-year inspection of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa say the tourist attraction "is enjoying great health," said Prof. Giuseppe Toniolo, head of the committee of experts that studies the structure. The 180-foot-high bell tower, completed in 1350, leans more than 14 feet off perpendicular.

--The latest thing in textbooks at many private schools around the nation is a book that many a great-great-great-granddad took to school. Van Nostrand Reinhold, a New York City publishing company, has received requests from hundreds of private school teachers, mostly in rural areas, for the 150-year-old "McGuffey's Eclectic Readers," said Joanne Trutko, marketing manager. The primers teach morals as well as reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic. A story like "The Good Boy Whose Parents Are Poor" teaches that virtue is its own reward. Children like Lazy Ned are appropriately punished: He died a dunce. Young readers are told that Where There's a Will, There's a Way. The author of the famous primers, William Holmes McGuffey, was a Presbyterian minister who taught at Miami University in Ohio. His textbook series "has stood the test of time," said John Schneck, principal of Victory Christian School in Eustis, Fla. "It teaches old traditional principles that mean something."

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