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Campbell: Pleasures of the fading art of handwriting

Campbell: Pleasures of the fading art of handwriting

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Thanks so much for highlighting the many positives of writing in cursive ("write on," Dec. 6). For many students at Roanoke Catholic, handwriting is a pleasure. It is taught in second and third grades, and the privilege of writing in pen is earned in fourth grade.

It does take a great deal of effort and discipline from students, at times, to master the correct steps and strokes, but how proud they are of their accomplishments, whether it be a particular letter (as in their names) or a finished sentence or paragraphs with no mistakes. The writings are works of art sometimes. So I encourage students' practice and their pride in their work.

I still take delight in writing the perfect note to students (especially with those colorful shiny gel pens), and who does not notice those artfully addressed Christmas cards (or birthday notes or wedding announcements) and perhaps gaze a little longer at them and remember those who wrote them?

I mentioned your article in class, and several students had already experienced not being able to read grandparent notes until they learned cursive. There seems to be more pride in using cursive than in using manuscript, perhaps because it does require more skill and fine motor control. There is even a National Handwriting Contest in which we participate yearly.

Over the past almost 40 years of teaching, I have noticed that students do remember more details when they write them in cursive, so I was glad to see a study that seemed to validate that conclusion. Doesn't one feel a sense of calmness and connectedness when one is writing in cursive, given certain conditions?

Being able to read valuable documents from the past, such as parts of the Constitution and personal letters and writings of our heroes, is a huge benefit of knowing cursive that also encourages the preservation of our history and traditions.

I could go on and on, but because I am not using cursive, I will conclude without connecting all the ideas that my brain wishes to share.

Again, thank you for focusing attention on a wonderful method used at RCS that enhances student learning.

Write on! (In cursive, of course.)



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