Lawton Representative introduces cursive writing study

Lawton Representative introduces cursive writing study

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -With digital learning taking over in schools, cursive writing is being taught less and less around the country, but a Lawton representative is making sure that doesn't happen in Oklahoma.

This month, Representative Ann Coody of Lawton introduced an interim study on teaching cursive writing in schools. Because it's not something that's on the standardized tests, many teachers say don't have enough time to put cursive writing on their daily agendas.  They focus on it just a few times during the school year. Coody said this fall, she's visiting the school districts in Southwest Oklahoma to encourage their administrators to make it a priority.

It all started when Representative Ann Coody saw an article in the newspaper that Louisiana was implementing cursive writing back into the state standards for schools. She says it sparked her interests to do some digging and make sure Oklahoma keeps the teaching of cursive at the top of their priorities.

"So many things that I learned when I was in school are not really emphasized anymore and that concerns me a great deal," said Coody."I think sometimes when we develop something new that that means we can drop something that was effective long ago."

Coody says the practice of writing and using the movements of their body to smoothly coordinate their letters has many benefits as opposed to always relying on technology to type letters, papers and work on.

"It helps eye-hand coordination," said Coody."Small motor coordination, and helps children to think better. That flow just helps develop the thinking process in people who do it.Where as when you're doing printing, there's a lot of cut off there."

Tammie Reynolds, Assistant Superintendent of Elgin Public Schools says they have a program they've been using for 3 years now called FLIGHT, that is used for students that struggle to read and write. She says cursive is a major part of those students reading curriculum because it has such a positive impact.

"That looping and continuous writing helps teach them that reading is also a continuous left to right process," said Reynolds."It helps to make those connections. We see a lot more reversal in letters in print that we don't see in cursive writing."

Reynolds says digital skills and typing skills are just as important as learning cursive. She says as educators and teachers, time management is a challenge.

"Both are needed for communicating and to be able to read  and to have that well rounded education," said Reynolds.

She says signing papers and checks with your name in cursive are very important. Coody says the standard of signing things in print is unacceptable.

"A student must be able to write a signature and can't stop at that because that can lead us to realize how much we need to be able to use cursive writing in all that we do," said Coody.

Coody's last day in office will be November 16th, and she says she has members that are running for office that are willing to help her push this issue to be presented at the next legislative session.

Since the 2015 school year, states such as North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, California, Georgia.
and Kansas have all returned to a curriculum that includes cursive writing in schools.

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