Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children, is a publisher of research-based reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting programs.
Ricky Schmitt Jr., a student at Woodland Consolidated School in Woodland, Maine, was named the grade seven Grand National Handwriting Champion in last month’s Zaner-Bloser annual competition.
Julia Bayly, a reporter for the Bangdor Daily News, wrote, “Simply put, in this day of texting, Bluetooth and Skype-based communication, 13-year-old Schmitt has the best and most legible cursive writing out of all grade seven students in the country.”
“I am very proud of Richard,” said Susie Schloeman, Woodland Consolidated School’s principal. “We believe that handwriting is an invaluable skill that is critical to developing literacy and leads to academic and career success.”
Before winning the Grand National Championship, Ricky won the state championship and then was named one of 16 national winners.
More than 220,000 students nationwide participated in the annual contest. Entries are judged on legibility, size, spacing and slant.
To enter the contest, Ricky submitted a sample of his writing and a short explanation of why it’s important to be able to write legibly. “Good handwriting is important for people without computers or cell phones. There are some kids who can’t read cursive writing – I think that’s pretty sad.”
“I’ve been a teacher for 37 years and my job is to reinforce what Ricky has already learned,” said David Sterris, Ricky’s seventh grade teacher. “While stressing the importance of good penmanship, it’s not to the exclusion of technology. But when you go out into the job market you need to use the English language properly, be able to spell and write.”
An easy way to write more legibly is to use an ergonomic pen with free-flowing ink. My UGLee Pen is so comfortable and relaxing to use that children just learning penmanship, older students doing a lot of writing for their classes, and even college students with a heavy load of note-taking, can all benefit from using the UGLee Pen.
(Photo credit – bangordailynews.com Woodland Consolidated School’s grade seven teacher David Sterris checks over a handwriting sample by Richard Schmitt Jr.)