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Idaho students continue learning cursive at school

A lawmaker from Idaho Falls has introduced a measure to mandate cursive handwriting in Idaho elementary schools.

Representative Linden Bateman presented this idea to the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

He argued cursive writing promotes dexterity, boosts reading comprehension and enhances cognitive development.

Third-grade teacher, Lori Crofoot, said teaching cursive is just like teaching any other subject.

“We start out one letter at a time,” said Crofoot. “Then we move on from lowercase to uppercase and then we just start connecting the letters. Today was our first day working on a whole poem.”

After months of practice, Crofoot’s students put their cursive skills to use today. Most students said they thought cursive wasn’t so bad.

“It’s awesome. I like that you don’t have to lift your pencil up,” said Alexis Scott, a third grader.

“It depends if it’s hard or easy,” said Jesus Aquino, a third grader. “It just depends on what you think.”

Starting in 2014, the Common Core State Test will be completed on a computer instead handwritten. Administrators said, by the 5th grade, students should be able to keyboard a two-page document.

“We just feel that it’s a 21st-century shift that our children be able to keyboard fluently,” said Michaelena Hix, director of curriculum and instruction for S.D. 93.

But for Crofoot, cursive handwriting is an essential tool she’s more than happy to teach.

“A lot of kids who struggle with printing, do much better with cursive,” said Crofoot. “It’s smoother, they don’t have to lift their pencil as much, they’re confident and they’re successful.”

Representative Bateman also told the committee that nice handwriting projects intelligence, gracefulness, and encourages artistic expression.

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