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Panther Post: Century students show off exceptional handwriting

Above, Rilee Michaelson (fourth grade), Alec Nordin (third grade), Allison Offerdahl (second grade) and Makayla Dumond (first grade) will represent their grade levels at the state handwriting competition. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
A sample of Rilee's handwriting is shown. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Park Rapids Century Elementary School adopted the newest Zaner-Bloser handwriting curriculum this fall and many students had the opportunity to show off their well-developed fine motor skills.

Technology meets with old-fashioned writing as the curriculum includes a website for teachers and students. As each letter's proper strokes are introduced, the image in motion and sound can be projected on the classrooms' SMART Boards while utilizing this site.

In a world where computers are prevalent and keyboarding is indisputably taught in our school system, a place remains for teaching handwriting. Cursive does offer immediate academic benefits. Experts say it triggers the thought processes connected to storing and retrieving information in memory and it helps early and intermediate readers link letters to sounds and spelling.

This month students in first through fourth grades competed in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting contest. Their handwriting samples will move on to the state grade-level competition. Grand national grade level champions will be awarded $1,000 in cash.

The grade level representatives for Century Elementary are Makayla Dumond (first grade), Allison Offerdahl (second grade), Alec Nordin (third grade) and Rilee Michaelson (fourth grade).

Rilee's teacher says, "She definitely has a gift for handwriting. Rilee demonstrates neat work consistently on each and every assignment. Her cursive writing sample should assuredly catch the judge's eye!"