- The educational company Zaner-Bloser hosts an annual national handwriting contest.
- Each year one winner is chosen from kindergarten through 8th grade.
- Winners receive a $US500 cash prize, a trophy, and a $US500 gift certificate for their schools to purchase school supplies.
- Oh, and bragging rights, too.
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Believe it or not, but before computers, tablets, and mobile phones, people used to actually have to hand write out their thoughts. Yup, kids used pen and paper to express themselves, and mailboxes were stuffed with actual letters, not emails.
Even just a few years ago kids received handwriting instruction throughout elementary school. Now, many kids are only required to have handwriting lessons in kindergarten and first grade. Most schools eschew handwriting classes for keyboard classes. Only 18 states currently require cursive instruction.
In an effort to celebrate the fine art of proper penmanship, the educational company Zaner-Bloser established a national handwriting contest. Around 250,000 kids participate in the contest annually and entries are judged on spacing, size, shape, and slant.
This year, 11 students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade – including two special needs students – received top honours. Each winner earns a trophy, a $US500 prize, and a $US500 gift of educational materials for their school.
And, of course, bragging rights over their amazing handwriting. Click through to check out the winners.
KINDERGARTEN: Aisha Aylin, a student at East View Elementary School in Olean, NY, took top honours for the kindergarten class.
Aisha said that it’s “fun to get good at writing.”
FIRST GRADE: Atticus Enfinger, a student at Bluffton Elementary School, in Bluffton, SC, beat out all other first graders with his prime penmanship.
“What I like best about handwriting is that it looks nice when you read it,” he wrote.
SECOND GRADE: Philip Saffian is a student at Holy Family Catholic Academy in Fresh Meadows (Queens), NY.
Saffian said learning about handwriting “helps me write neater.”
THIRD GRADE: Norah Hayes Mason is a student at Valley Christian Academy in Santa Maria, CA.
Norah said she uses her penmanship to write stories.
FOURTH GRADE: Maggie Hartman attends Immaculate Conception of Dardenne in Dardenne Prairie, MO.
Maggie said she likes to admire her writing when she’s done.
FIFTH GRADE: Noah Dharmawirya is a student at Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy in Ederheim, PA.
Dharmawirya said practicing handwriting “makes me a better reader and writer.”
SIXTH GRADE: Sage Collier attends GRACE Christian School in Raleigh, NC.
Good handwriting is important, says Sage, because “no one can read what you wrote if you have poor handwriting.”
SEVENTH GRADE: Lauren Quiroz attends Corpus Christi Catholic School in South Bend, IN.
“If you want to achieve a goal, you need to set yourself a limit and strive toward that limit,” Lauren said. “And once you achieve it, don’t stop and keep going.”
EIGHTH GRADE: Joe Robuck is a student at School of the Incarnation in Gambrills, MD.
Joe’s 17-year-old brother also won the award when he was in eighth grade.
Both Sara Hinesley and Lance Wilson received the Nicholas Maxim Award, given to students with special needs who have excelled at handwriting.
Sara was born without hands, and writes by holding a writing utensil between the ends of her arms.
Sara said she finds cursive “kind of easy.”
Congratulations to all the winners!
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