(CBS) – Monday is National Handwriting Day, celebrated on the birthday of John Hancock. But nowadays, penmanship – especially cursive – is becoming a lost art.
But some children are still using, and even excelling, at cursive writing.
Chances are, the only time you still use cursive as an adult is to sign something. Most of us learned cursive in school, but for children growing up in a world of laptops, smart phones, and tablets, writing things by hand is fading away.
“A lot of people think that it won’t be used later on in life, since everything is focused on technology and typed things,” said Kimberly Rutherford, a 4th Grade teacher at St. Edmund Elementary in Brooklyn.
Only 21 states currently require cursive instruction, according to the National Education Association.
At St. Edmund, they never stopped teaching it. And surprisingly, some kids are taking to it.
“I love how it looks so neat, and so fun to do,” said 13-year-old Caitlyn Ngo.
Ngo doesn’t just like cursive. She’s the 2021 Grand National Cursive Champion, beating out hundreds of other students for the neatness and consistency of her penmanship. She finds cursive helpful.
“When you’re taking notes during class, it’s more faster and you want to keep your notes neat and easy to read,” Ngo said.
On the question of whether cursive is still useful today, it does allow us to read historical documents, including John Hancock’s famous signature on the Declaration of Independence.
Lauren Mooney Bear of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation says we retain information better when we write by hand.
“There’s so many studies that show that cursive writing uses more of the neurons in the brain and muscle memory because your hands gotta use it,” Bear said.
When the U.S. Department of Education introduced Common Core standards for schools in 2010, handwriting wasn’t included. States and schools can make decisions on whether or not to teach cursive.