For some time now, most schools around the country no longer teach the cursive alphabet to their elementary schools. The growing use of technology for communication, like emails and text messages, has made cursive writing less important in school officials’ eyes than it once was. But still, there are many around the country that believe it should still be taught in schools. As it is now, only 11 states require schools to teach cursive, but 10 more are now considering adding legislation to include the lost art.
CBS News reports how one school in Texas has come up with a unique way to teach the children cursive as well as contribute to their community. After learning that his thrid grade daughter was unable to read a cursive letter he wrote to her while in camp because it had “funny writing”, dad Tim Mallad thought of a fun way kids can learn the old writing style.
Mallad explains his thought, “Wouldn't it be fun for the children to begin to learn how to read letters and perhaps get the thrill of getting a real letter in the mail?” And that’s where the idea of the kids connecting with seniors through good old fashioned snail mail letter writing came about. The kids are required to write to a senior penpal in cursive as well as read the letters they receive that will also be in cursive.
So far, the cursive penpal program is a hit, though it came with some getting used to. Student Ahan Jain explains, “It used to hurt my hand a lot, but now I've gotten used to it.” And for seniors who are not very tech-saavy, the letter writing has been a great way to connect with the kids. Seventy-five-year-old Sue Standlee says, “It's difficult for me to do text and emails, or text, anyway, because there's so many shortened, abbreviated things, that… I don't know what they are.” Since Standlee began her letter exchange with 9-year-old Samantha Moseley the two have hit it off and even had the chance to meet in person. Moseley says of her new friend, “"I got to meet someone new and not just writing to them ... in short letters and stuff. I actually got a friendship with her.” And Standlee is just as happy with her new friend saying of Moseley, “Well, she's just flamboyant. She a pistol ... it was wonderful to meet her, just wonderful.”
What do you think of this program that connects students and seniors through cursive writing?
Do you think schools should be required to teach cursive?