The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 5, 2013

Area schools still teach dying craft


DANVILLE — Learning cursive writing still is part of Danville District 118’s core curriculum.

“Cursive is introduced in second grade after Christmas break,” Superintendent Mark Denman said.

“It is taught at the second-grade level at all of our schools,” he said.

However, Denman said, “I think there’s no question you will see more printing.

“There is less focus on handwriting than 30, 40 years ago,” he said. “There’s so much that school districts need to teach.”

Denman also attributes the move away from cursive handwriting to the change in the way the younger generation communicates.

“People don’t write friendly letters anymore; they e-mail,” he said. “It’s a form of communication that’s changing.”

Denman said he believes students still need to know cursive and how to write it.

“Being able to write well without a computer is important,” he said. “It’s an important skill. It helps people communicate.”

Across the state line in Indiana, the teaching of cursive writing is left up to the individual school district, but Covington has elected to keep it at the second-grade level.

“We thought that it was a value for our students,” said Alison Karrfalt, Covington Elementary School principal. “We didn’t research it, but we think it meets our needs.”

Karrfalt said she understands not teaching it, but she feels the pluses of teaching it outweigh the other method.

“We feel we can offer it and still meet all of the core goals.” she said.