Newport students awarded for penmanship

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Kaylynn Lauer carefully demonstrates her command of script in Newport Elementary School Thursday after announcement of the Zaner-Bloser state handwriting awards. Lauer, a sixth grader, received a state award last year as well.

NEWPORT – Newport Elementary School students and teachers cheered loudly during an assembly Thursday afternoon.

“There have been a lot of good things happening, things to celebrate, and I wanted to recognize you kids,” principal Brian Williams said. “We received an Ohio Department of Education High Progress School award, and you guys earned it, the teachers earned it.”

Williams also called about 30 students to the front for accolades for participating in the school play.

“Two and a half weeks ago, we did something we haven’t done in years, we put on a school play,” Williams said. The production of “The Wizard of Oz” was staged on a Sunday afternoon and drew an audience of about 200 people, a tribute to the support of the community, he said.

For the past several years occupational therapist Carol Armann has avidly pushed for handwriting excellence in all six grades and kindergarten at the school, and her efforts have paid off with numerous state-level awards. This year, three students received awards from Zaner-Bloser, Inc., a Columbus-based firm that markets classroom support programs and supplies, including handwriting curriculum materials.

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Newport Elementary School kindergarten student Katelyn Morris peers out from behind her teacher, Angie Ashworth, as she receives a state-level handwriting award from principal Brian Williams at an assembly Thursday afternoon. She was one of three students to receive a medallion signifying the award from Zaner-Bloser company. Ashworth's students have won state-level awards in each of the past four years.

Williams announced the three winners for this year: kindergarten student Katelyn Morris, fifth-grader Anna Bowersock and sixth-grader Kaylynn Lauer, who is a repeat winner – she also earned an award as a fifth grader. The students received a medallion, the teachers got an engraved glass award and the school received three $100 gift certificates for Zaner-Bloser products.

In support of handwriting, Armann said that it has wide-ranging benefit for students, including development of reading comprehension in a manner that keyboarding doesn’t encourage.

Kaylynn Lauer, a two-time winner, said pen

manship has been a strong focus for her.

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

Lauer said she has a calligraphy set.

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times The three winners of state handwriting prizes at Newport Elementary School, from left, Katelyn Morris, Kaylynn Lauer and Anna Bowersock, stand for applause at a student assembly Thursday afternoon. It's the fifth year Newport students have sent in prize-winning penmanship entries in the Zaner-Bloser annual handwriting contest.

Katelyn Morris, the kindergarten winner, said it’s work getting to good handwriting.

“I practice a lot,” she said.


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