The Star-Herald

Woodland student receives national handwriting award

WOODLAND, Maine — Woodland Consolidated School staff emphasize the importance of reading and writing in cursive, ensuring that it does not become a dying art.

Principal Susie Schloeman said that if students no longer understand cursive, they’ll be unable to read old letters from relatives, or even the Declaration of Independence. The efforts of Schloeman and Woodland teachers have paid off in recent years, as Woodland students have won several awards for cursive handwriting, the most recent being seventh grader Amanda Poulin, who was chosen as a national grade-level semifinalist in the 2017 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

Poulin said she was “very surprised and very happy,” when she heard of her placement as a national semifinalist, adding that she didn’t think she was going to get it.

Despite receiving national recognition, Poulin said she did not spend any time practicing for the contest, but that she enjoys writing in cursive and does so for every assignment.

“I usually don’t write in print for schoolwork,” Poulin said. “Cursive is prettier, and it flows nicely. It doesn’t look as solid or choppy as print.”

“We’re extremely proud of Amanda,” Schloeman said, “and had four other state level winners at the school this year.”

In 2011, Woodland seventh grader Richard Schmidt won first place in the national handwriting championship, and Schloeman said a few years ago a student in every grade of the school won on the state level.

Poulin’s teacher, Ed Theriault, along with teachers for the other four grades with state winners, will receive a diamond-shaped paperweight this year.

“We’re fortunate that our teachers continue to teach cursive to students so they can go on and have their own signature penmanship,” Schloeman said.

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