Sally Marshall never even heard of Terry Anderson until her sixth-grade teacher described the plight of the Associated Press correspondent taken hostage in Beirut six years ago Saturday.

But Sally knows what she thinks about him now:"Few things are free in this world, but Terry Anderson should be one of them."

Teacher Rick Cano asked Sally and the rest of her class at Coarsegold School about 250 miles southeast of San Francisco to write to Beirut newspapers telling why Anderson - the longest-held hostage in Lebanon - should be freed.

Their letters showed the simple honesty of children 11 and 12 years old, and sometimes their poignancy and innocent humor.

"This whole thing is unfair, painful and stressful for his family," wrote Aleena Scott. "In the Bible, it says, Do unto others as you would them do unto you.' "

"His family is in need, his health is terrible, and why are they doing this?" asked Melissa Pung. "I wish someone would stop them from doing this. Terry Anderson is suffering. He needs help."

Sophie Frost advised the Beirut editor that although many may have forgotten Anderson, "well, Mr. Cano's class hasn't. . . . Our class doesn't even know him, but we are concerned. We all want him home. He needs a real life, real food. He needs his family."

Other letters touched on normal aspects of daily living.

"A human shouldn't have to wear dirty clothes for six years," wrote Jarrod Unruh.