Handwriting still a useful skill to learn

Newport Elementary School students Katelyn Morris, kindergarten; Anna Bowersock, fifth grade; and Kaylynn Lauer, sixth grade, have earned high honors for excellence in a skill many young people have dismissed as unnecessary.

But as the three received this year’s awards from Zaner-Bloser, Inc., for stellar handwriting, they explained why such seemingly old-fashioned skills are still important.

For one thing, learning to write well takes a commitment to work. “I practice a lot,” said Morris.

That work pays off.

“It’s extraordinarily important to me. It’s a gold mine, really,” said Lauer. “I handwrite stories and journals, and people take you more seriously if you have good handwriting. It’s beautiful.”

Occupational therapist Carol Armann is to be commended for pushing handwriting excellence in all grades at the school. Doing so has many benefits, including the development of reading comprehension in a way that working with a keyboard does not accomplish.

While students do not have to take it to the level Lauer has — she even owns a calligraphy set — they and their teachers should be working on improving handwriting skills. We owe it to our kids not to forget the good lessons we were taught, even as technology changes the ways in which we use them.

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