A lesson in handwriting, Eau Claire schools go back to basics

EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WEAU)-- From texting to emails, keyboards seem to be replacing the good old pencil and paper. Studies show students are starting to show poor penmanship on tests and essays.
That’s why schools are trying in re-emphasize the importance of print and cursive.

"In some cases we see students come to school with very little writing," said Eau Claire English Language Arts Coordinator Laurie Haus.

But in a digital age penmanship still has its place, few schools give students access to key boards for day to day writing. Haus says most schoolwork from taking notes to essays is still done by hand.

“When we are assessing the students we want to be able to read it and it helps us understand their ideas better if we can read it easily,” Haus.

So the Eau Claire School District is putting the focus back on handwriting in the classroom. Like always, students start learning to print in Pre-K but this year they are getting introduced to cursive a year earlier in second grade instead of third.

“The program we are using is very focused on developing those motor skills,” said Haus.

Research shows students who write fluidly in cursive over print tend to do better on standardized tests, like the ACT. The reason is cursive allows you to write a thought down faster.

"Our ultimate goal is fluency and legibility so they can really express themselves the best of their ability,” said Haus.