ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A fourth-grade student at Aspermont ISD broke the high school record for accelerated reading at his school, and now, his school leaders say he is potentially on track to beat the national record. 

To know 9-year-old Culley Cattaneo is to know that reading is all he wants to do in his free time every day, according to his mom, Cassidy Cattaneo.

“He won’t do his chores,” said Cattaneo. “Put the book down, and fold your laundry.” 

Ironically, Cattaneo said Culley was not interested in reading at all when he was younger. 

“But he had to learn to read his sight words by second grade, so we stuck to it,” Cattaneo explained. “By the end of that summer, he had read the entire Harry Potter series.” 

When Culley finally found a book that he liked, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, that changed everything, and he has been searching for the next best book ever since. 

“Why I love reading so much is because whenever I am reading, I become part of the story,” Culley explained. 

At Aspermont High School, the Accelerated Reader (AR) record was 423 points, and Culley beat that last year with 626 points. This year, he is already at 1,063 points, before the school year has even ended. His principal said if Culley’s reading pace progresses at the same level that it has been, he is on track to beat the national record, which is 2,718.6. 

Culley shared he had to start reading books from the high school library because he has nearly read all of the books at the elementary school. 

“To be completely honest with you, I never thought I would beat any records,” Culley added. 

His reading teacher, Sarah Lowack, said she has to try to get most students excited about reading, and shared that since Culley is excited about it all on his own, “It’s definitely refreshing as a reading teacher to have a kid like that.”

She said the whole point of the AR program is to incentivize children to read by throwing celebrations after reaching a goal. 

“But Culley doesn’t seem to need those parties. He just wants to read because he wants to read,” said Lowack. 

Culley shared he is up for this challenge of trying to beat the national record. 

“I’ll do my best,” Culley expressed. 

Even though it is quite the feat, his school and his family are rallying behind him. 

“I think it’s something he definitely can do by the end of fifth grade for sure,” Lowack explained. 

Culley wants everyone to know that even if reading might be hard sometimes, it can also be fun, and that is why everyone should try it.