Is teaching cursive handwriting still relevant in Maine?

Teaching cursive in schools

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – It is a topic that is another sign of the times: whether or not to teach cursive handwriting in schools.

Many say it fell by the wayside after Common Core was introduced. Now, there may still be hope for the true art of writing.

Alabama and Louisiana were the most recent to pass laws in 2016—making a total of 14 states across the country that now require teaching cursive.

In Maine, however, it is up to the individual schools according to The Department of Education.

"They are excited that it is something they want to do. They feel grown up,” Meghan Jordan said.

Jordan is a second grade teacher at the Abraham Lincoln School in Bangor.

She uses technology in the classroom, including a smart board and projector, to teach the centuries-old penmanship.

"I think it's important we use technology and the old ways to form and develop well-rounded children,” Jordan said as she helped students in an afterschool homework session.

“I like learning something new,” 8 -year-old Jake said as he practiced in his cursive workbook.

"It's good for our brains,” another student, Ava, said.

The Abraham Lincoln School is one in the state that still stands by teaching kids how to write cursive.

Jordan said it is also a great way to help kids who otherwise struggle with writing.

"For fine motor [skills] it's easier for some of them because it's fluid when they write it and they don't have to change the grip on their pencil,” she said.

Some research even suggests it can help those struggling with dyslexia and those with autism.

For Jordan, it is both a tool to get kids motivated and a foundation for writing.

"I want to be a singer,” Ava said.

For her, learning the art could mean signing an autograph one day.

“I want to be an archeologist,” Jake said.

For him, it could mean reading a piece of history.

With teachers like Jordan, there is a focus on teaching the past and present now in order to benefit them in the future.

"I think that the world today is just different than it was 20 years ago and I think that we have to be accept that it is different but we also can't lose the past and other things that are important,” she said.

Copyright 2017 WLBZ


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