School trials underscore importance of handwriting

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Competition

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Computers and cell phones seem to be the main source of communication in today's world, but three local schools are making sure their students learn the concept of good handwriting at an early age.

Several students across the lake area are currently competing in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

The competition is open to first through eighth graders across the country.

Calcasieu parish is represented by students from Pearl Watson Elementary, Gillis Elementary and Saint Margaret Catholic School.

According to some teachers handwriting is a dying art form. But they're doing the best they can to teach students at a young age its importance.

"Handwriting is a fundamental building block of learning," said Debbie Ferguson, a 5th grade teacher at St. Margaret. "It's a universal form of communication. We feel our students should be able to write thank-you notes and letters to their grandparents. "

One student from Ferguson's class is entered in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. Ferguson feels that handwriting can help students in all areas of studies.

"We find that research shows and points that students that have a good clear legible handwriting also score better on their test scores," said Ferguson.

Five students from Gillis Elementary are also competing nationally. One class winner was selected from each grade.

"It's really shocking because this is my first time doing it. I've never done it before. It does feel good," said 5th grader Madeline Fontenot.

But for the students, it's not just a competition.

"We can learn handwriting," said one student. "Whenever we grow up, we can have very very nice handwriting."

Lisa Delphin's first grade class at Pearl Watson also had a class competition. The winner, Haley Collins, says she feels honored.

"It just feels like, it makes me happy," she said.

Delphin says it's important for students to pay attention to the way they're writing and always write to the best of their ability.

"I always make sure that they evaluate what they're writing," said Delphin. "If they can look at it and see what's right and what's wrong and evaluate it, I find that they do a better job that way. You have to self check and evaluate."

Officials with the Zaner-Bloser handwriting contest say winners should be announced by May 1st.

To view the Zaner-Bloser Contest Sheet [CLICK HERE]

To view the Keys of Legibility [CLICK HERE]

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