Two Marlboro Academy students have been named South Carolina’s second and fourth grade winners in the 2019 Zaner-Bloser’s National Handwriting Contest.
Paisley Ann Stillwell of McColl, a second grade student; and Emilie Riedeburg a fourth grade student of Bennettsville have been named South Carolina’s winners for private schools in the contest.
Now in its 28th year, the contest gives students in kindergarten through eighth grade the chance to showcase and receive recognition for their handwriting skills in manuscript or cursive. Contest judges use the Zaner-Bloser “Keys to Legibility: Size, Shape, Spacing and Slant” to evaluate the entries. Students in kindergarten through second grade compete in the manuscript handwriting category, while students in third through eighth grade compete with cursive handwriting.
Participating schools, which all use Zaner-Bloser handwriting materials, held their own handwriting contests and chose a winning student from each grade to compete at the state level in the contest. A student in each grade, one from a public school and one from a private school, was chosen as the state grade-level winner. They, like other state-level winners, will compete in the national competition, vying with other state winners in the same grade at both public and private schools to earn the title of National Grade-Level Semifinalist or Grand National Champion.
Zaner-Bloser awarded a medallion to both Stillwell and Riedeburg; an etched glass diamond award to Stillwell’s teacher, Mrs. Wagner, and Riedeburg’s teacher, Ms. Harrington; and a $100 Zaner-Bloser gift certificate to Marlboro Academy.
“Paisley is a self-starter who needs no extra motivation. She takes on schoolwork in a serious manner and is ready to tackle almost anything put before her. Her work is always tidy and uncluttered. I can always count on receiving a tidy paper from her when work is due. She is a joy to teach and a pleasure to have in class. I am so proud of her achievement,” said Mrs. Tammy Wagner, Marlboro Academy’s second grade teacher.
“Emilie’s cursive handwriting is beautiful. She works very hard to make sure she has the proper slant and that her letters are formed correctly. She enjoys writing in cursive and takes it seriously. She is very deserving of this award,” said Ms. Harrington, Marlboro Academy’s fourth grade teacher.
“We applaud the winning students for the dedication it took to demonstrate such outstanding manuscript and cursive handwriting skills, and we applaud their schools, which continue to recognize the importance of handwriting instruction,” said Lisa Carmona, president of Zaner-Bloser. “Research on handwriting shows that it not only helps children develop finger dexterity, fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, but it also creates a foundation for literacy that strengthens reading and writing skills.”
Educators are rediscovering the important role handwriting plays in developing literacy skills. Many states are revising their standards and curricula to include explicit handwriting instruction.
For more information about the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, visit www.zaner-bloser.com/hwcontest.