Cursive handwriting required in Tennessee schools

How well do you remember your ABC’s?

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill last year requiring schools to teach cursive beginning this fall. Some argue the keyboard and technology has made manuscript obsolete, but others say cursive writing improves critical thinking skills and brain function.

But in the Local 6 region, many schools have stayed ahead of the curve and continued teaching the handwriting tradition.

Third grade Martin Elementary Teacher, Nakia White marries new technology with an old font. White says they use a Promethean board, a technologically smart white board to teach cursive handwriting to her class all the time. White says, “It’s something new to them and they get into it and they want to learn all the letters.”

Nakia teaches cursive for 15 minutes a day, but the lessons extend beyond handwriting. She says the kids learn more than crafting the cursive letters, “When kids are actually doing cursive writing it can help with that part of the brain that’s dealing with reading comprehension as well.”

But if you ask a bunch of third graders they say it’s sometimes like another language. So they critiqued and perfected a reporter’s upper case G’s and S’s.

However for third graders, the most important reason to learn cursive was for their future jobs, “Well the president, if the people look that they need to know that you sign that in your signature.”

Neither Kentucky, Illinois, nor Missouri require teaching cursive handwriting. Although separate school districts can require cursive as part of the curriculum. The TTennesseelaw requires teaching cursive in grades two through four.

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