Fil-Am boy is U.S. cursive writing champion
BERGEN COUNTY, New Jersey – As teaching cursive writing in the nation’s schools is seeing a revival, a Filipino American fifth-grader emerged as a state and national cursive writing champion.
Edbert Aquino, 10, took home last year’s national trophy, $500 and honor for his Roman Catholic elementary school in Bergen County, according to The New York Times.
Edbert, who wants to become a doctor, told the Times that when he uses cursive he is forced to slow down, allowing his ideas to flow more freely.
To enter the nationwide competition among third graders, Edbert and his classmates wrote a sentence that contained every letter in the alphabet, known as a pangram: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
The proliferation of computers along with new demands on teachers had led to a gradual disappearance of cursive instruction across the United States. In New Jersey, public schools have not been required to teach handwriting since 2010.
Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, a Democrat from Jersey City, has introduced legislation requiring public schools to again teach a skill that had been phased out across the country. She said cursive is needed in basic tasks like signing an application and endorsing a check.
Kathleen Wright, who worked for Zaner-Bloser, a company that publishes cursive workbooks and sponsored the national competition Edbert won, said 24 states now require some form of cursive instruction, including seven–Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee–that had adopted policies since 2013.