There is a new, commonly held belief that cursive handwriting is a “lost art” and is no longer necessary in the digital age. But a growing movement begs to differ, advocating that cursive is still an important life skill and that all children should be able to read and write in cursive for overall literacy. After all, if children cannot read cursive, notes written by their grandparents and historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address are considered unreadable and require an adult to translate. Quite an educational emergency many would argue.
But no matter how digitized and less reliant on handwriting the world becomes, it’s hard to deny that cursive is still a fundamental skill, outlet for artistic expression, and gateway to historical understanding and cultural appreciation for the rest of one’s life. Plus, having a signature in cursive is a source of pride, personal style, and practicality. Most banks would agree.
But it is “keyboarding” that has become key in education and an increasing number of Colorado elementary schools no longer teach cursive handwriting or the instruction is so cursory that mastery is unrealistic. The reason? Cursive is not a required state or national standard. Consequently, a growing child population in our state, including teenagers, is missing out on this valuable life-long skill and “cursive illiteracy” is becoming a local norm, an ill-situation that many would say is shameful.
When Suzanne Bowland learned in 2017 that her son would not be learning cursive in his third-grade class, she was dismayed and took matters into her own hands, literally. But unimpressed by the cursive materials on the market and driven by a life-long passion of her own for cursive, Bowland set out to develop a fun and unique instructional model for teaching cursive to her son and Cookies and Cursive: Mindful & Artistic Handwriting for the 21st Child was born. Bowland regularly teaches cursive to children across the Denver Metro using her expertise in cursive and engaging approach that ties in the language of baking cookies with the art and science of cursive. She says her style and method gets children excited and inspired about learning cursive and renders excellent results quickly. “Children light up when they see the beauty and geometry in cursive and feel it is more natural to connect their letters,” Bowland says. “They dive in with abandon and even enjoy cursive more than print!”
Thankfully, parents have a quality nearby resource to help fill the handwriting gap. For Colorado parents who want their children to be cursive literate in a keyboarding world and enjoy in-depth, personalized instruction, Cookies and Cursive returns this summer with four cursive handwriting instruction summer camps at the Koelbel Library (Orchard Road and Holly Street) in Centennial beginning June 11 and running through August 2.
Each camp teaches the same curriculum during a two-week block from 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday. To learn more about the Cookies and Cursive approach and to meet Suzanne Bowland prior to registering, she is presenting “The Joys and Importance of Cursive in a Keyboarding World” at the Koelbel Library on April 26, May 10, and May 24 from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. There is no charge for this presentation but registration in advance is necessary.
Cookies and Cursive summer camps are designed for children age 8 and up. Register by April 30 to receive the 20 percent discounted rate of $232 per child. Space is limited. Bowland also offers individual cursive tutoring sessions in the afternoons throughout the summer as an option for busy summer schedules. For more information and to register for a summer cursive camp, explore tutoring, or to attend her presentation, contact Bowland directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-684-8119.
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