While the debate continues as to whether or not to include handwriting in the 15% allowed under the Common Core Agreement; a local elementary school
has won the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest for the fourth year in a row.
The winner of the contest is a fourth grader from Hibbard Elementary School in Madison County.
Nation-wide over 285,000 students participated in this year’s contest.
The top pick for the state of Idaho was 4th grader Austen Merrell. I asked him how he felt about winning.
“Great” said Austen.
“You really have to achieve an amazing level of excellence to win, even at the state level” said Educational Sales Representative for Zaner-Bloser; Tammie Odenbrett.
The five keys the contestants have to master are legibility, size, shape, spacing and slant.
“We find that once a school and a district wins a contest, there is a tendency to see them win more than once because they really get motivated” continued Odenbrett.
“I think that that is a feather in Madison School District’s cap and the idea that they don’t have to have a state winner, that he only way that there can be a state winner is if they meet the criterion that goes along with it, so we doubly appreciate that” said Madison School District Curriculum Director Siri Pinnock.
If there is a state winner; the student and the teacher get a prize and the school district gets a $200 redeemable coupon.
Austen will now be placed into a pool of eligible participants for the national award, that winner will be named sometime later this spring.
Zaner-Bloser has been providing schools with handwriting material since the 1800’s.