The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


Why Should Schools Teach Handwriting

MCPS Should Consider Making Teaching Handwriting Mandatory in Elementary School
Damion Tatum
Having strong handwriting skills can help students with note taking.

Have you ever known or possessed an underrated expertise that 43% of the world has?

Handwriting is writing that is done by hand using a pen, pencil, digital stylus, or other instrument. Different types of handwriting, whether it be neat, straight, cursive, calligraphy, or some other form, have been a stable part of humanity for 5,500 years.

With their handwriting, individuals can create a style all their own. When someone writes something, it can contain more than just what the sentences say: their handwriting can help to reveal their thoughts, feelings, and neat statements.

As an MCPS student who learned it as early as second grade, I have always had neat handwriting. Neatness of writing is a complex skill to learn over time, and for me that began in about second grade. Over that period of time, writing art skills have significantly improved, and the reason is very simple: it is mostly from the way I hold my pen or pencil. Writing in a unique way uplifts me and builds confidence in my schoolwork and professional settings.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic when we shifted to computers at home for a year-long period, writing in school has slowed. It has not become obsolete but it has been overshadowed by the normalization of computers and school Chromebooks. However, some writing has been put in place in certain courses and assignments to foster an interest in the writing arts.

According to Louise Spear-Swerling, “Because handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects — taking notes, taking tests, and doing classroom work and homework for almost every content area as well as in language arts classes — poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance.” Based on what Spear-Swerling states, it seems clear that handwriting skills increase the ability to put more effort into writing in tests and have a positive effect on performance in school.

According to Cindy Long, a senior writer at NEA Today, more than half of the journalists on this website agreed that handwriting is important and ideal. They explained collectively that it trains the brain to learn functional specialization, improves memory, and it improves fine motor skills, meaning that students who have illegible print, often have legible cursive handwriting. She submitted that cursive writing can improve memory. This website shows that a majority of writers have interest in handwriting art skills.

Creating a curriculum of art styles of writing in younger elementary grades can lead to increased focus and academic success in education. My personal experiences have really helped me build up my writing art skills, which has also helped me be more invested in my schoolwork and allowed me to put more thought and effort into my assignments.

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About the Contributor
Damion Tatum, Staff Writer
A big part of Paint Branch High School is football games. We sit in the stadiums eagerly waiting for our team to score as we cheer them on to victory. One part of that culture is the game performances, including our beloved marching band which performs a familiar tune after every touchdown. One of those performers is PB sophomore Damion Tatum, a bass drummer who brings each performance to life. Damion only began playing bass drum this school year but is progressively improving. He says, “It was hard at first but now I’m getting used to it.” Damion has a wide array of interests including listening to EDM music. When asked his favorite artists, he simply replies, “I like certain types of DJs.” His other interests include watching soccer games and Total Drama, as well as reading. His favorite book is The Hate U Give because it “shows a true story of police bruatility” more deeply than other books. As for his favorite place, Damion likes to visit Northern Virginia, specifically the mall in Pentagon City. While there, he enjoys socializing and visiting his favorite stores, Old Navy and Spencers. Damion also goes to Pentagon City Mall for his favorite food, orange chicken. He describes himself as a hard-working person who is a mix of introverted and extroverted, depending on where he is. He wants to go to Towson University in Maryland and pursue his dream of becoming a news journalist.   By: Efratha Tewdros

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