New Hope Senator Makes Case for Learning Cursive
In today’s era of modern technology, the age-old activity of putting pencil to paper still exists in classrooms.
But drawing pictures is one thing.
Sarah Parry, a 3rd grade teacher from Gleason Lake Elementary in Plymouth says that when it comes to writing in cursive, it’s a different story.
“Well, students come into the third grade definitely curious about cursive because some of them have older siblings who have learned it,” Parry said.
However, handwriting is more of an optional activity at the school, rather than something ingrained into the curriculum.
Instead, the students have six weeks of mandatory keyboarding instruction.
“I feel like now, most students, keyboarding and typing is probably more valuable to them long term,” Parry said.
Cursive Legislation Introduced
Meanwhile at the State Capitol, DFL Senator Ann Rest of New Hope wants to make sure cursive doesn’t become a lost art.
She cited a recent exchange with a teenager as an example.
“I gave a note to a teenager and he handed it back to me and said, ‘Will you read this to me?’ It’s a straight-A student,” Rest said.
Rest has introduced a bill that would require the MN Dept. of Education to develop a curriculum to help students develop legible cursive handwriting skills by the end of 5th grade.
The bill wouldn’t mandate schools to teach handwriting, but districts could voluntarily adopt the curriculum if they choose.
“I would like students at some point to be able to read the Declaration of Independence without having it translated,” Rest said.
Back at Gleason Lake, cursive does indeed appear in the classroom in the form of the daily schedule.
Students can also choose to write their assignments in cursive if they know how.
The hope for Parry is that if students can’t write in cursive, that they at least know how to read it.
“I love writing in cursive, so if students are interested in learning it, then I definitely provide any resources they want,” Parry said. “Because I think that it’s something that’s part of history.”
Senator Rest says she’s not sure whether her cursive bill will receiving a hearing, but one of the co-authors chairs the committee where the bill has been referred.