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Keep Cursive Alive with Annual Cursive Writing Contest

In honor of National Handwriting Week, the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation's Campaign for Cursive committee has announced its annual cursive writing contest for students in grades 1-6 to showcase their cursive writing skills.

Submissions, which of course must be written in cursive, must answer one of the following three questions:

  • Why is cursive cool?
  • Why do you like signing your name?
  • What benefits do you see in learning cursive?

All submissions, which are due by March 17, 2017, will be judged by writing experts and educators who will critique entries based on legibility and quality. Winners will be selected in April and will be eligible to win prizes that include new writing instruments, workbooks, learning methods and accessories.

Last year, the Foundation said it received entries from 13 states and is hoping to increase that number this year.

Certainly, the battle to keep cursive alive is a war that's been waged since the rollout of the Common Core State Standards; the Common Core is a set of standards that do not require states to teach students cursive writing instruction but do require forms of modern instruction like keyboarding.

In the years after adopting the standards, many state lawmakers drafted legislation to make cursive writing instruction mandatory in public schools once again. The following states have succeeded in this effort:

  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Kansas

Supporters of mandatory cursive writing instruction argue that being able to write in cursive allows the country's future leaders to read and interpret the documents which this county is founded on. Further, many supporters cite studies that indicate cursive writing has benefits for the brain like providing functional specialization and improving "fine motor skills with visual and tactile processing abilities," says Brain Balance Achievement Centers.

"Having our kids learn this lifelong skill is worth the 15 minutes a day to learn modern cursive. Research indicates that there are benefits for our children to learn cursive. Technology is important, too, one skill does not replace the other. So, have your kids enter the contest and tell us why they like to write in cursive, we think you will learn something too," said Gayna Scott, Campaign for Cursive chair in a statement.

Read more about the contest here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

1/24/2017

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