National Handwriting Day is coming up on January 23, 2016. Did you know that seventy-five percent of American students in grades 4 – 12 are writing below grade level? As we approach the day of acknowledgement, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association offers the following facts and tips for reinforcing handwriting in children. If you are planning any coverage in conjunction with National Handwriting Day, please consider the following tips. As well, Executive Director David Baker of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association is also available for comment. Thank you in advance.
National Handwriting Day Reminds Children of the Importance of Handwriting
D.C.) January 23rd, 2016 marks the 39th anniversary of National
Handwriting Day. Established in 1977 on the birthday of perhaps one of
America’s most celebrated scribes, John Hancock – known for his bold
signature on the Declaration of Independence – National Handwriting Day
was created to acknowledge the history and importance of penmanship in
all of our lives.
Handwriting Makes Us Smarter!
shown that writing by hand benefits cognitive development, motor skills
and can lead to improved writing skills and comprehension.
University of Washington Psychologist Virginia Berninger concluded in a
study on school-aged children that handwriting, both printing and
cursive, and typing on a keyboard activated different brain patterns.
Children who wrote by hand generated more ideas faster than those typing
and also exhibited better working memory, which increased overall
reading and writing abilities.
Expression Through the Art of Handwriting
allows individuals to be artists during a time when the tool of choice
for writing is often a digital device. The art of handwriting is one of
the few ways individuals can uniquely express themselves. Developing
this skill in children has shown to influence reading, writing,
language, creativity and critical thinking. Handwriting adds intimacy to
anything written, whether it’s a letter, a card or a simple note, and
reveals details about the writer’s personality. As a result, many of us
choose to save handwritten cards and letters as reminders of loved
ones. "As technology grows and certainly plays an important role in our
lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism
expressed through the handwritten word," says David H. Baker, WIMA's
Tips to Get the Kids Writing
Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) sponsors National
Handwriting Day with the mission of sharing the significance and power
of handwriting. WIMA suggests reinforcing the importance of handwriting
with children on National Handwriting Day in any of the following ways:
Learn about the important written documents in history. Throughout
history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars,
established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared
2. Read a book. It may not be writing, but it
shows appreciation of writing. Some of the most noted authors prefer pen
and paper to create their novels including J.K. Rowling, who drafted
her famous Harry Potter series on napkins.
3. Practice 15 minutes
of handwriting each day. Experts recommend a minimum of 15 minutes of
handwriting each day for students to experience the benefits of the
4. Start a diary or journal. Keeping a diary or journal
is a great way for children to write daily–sharing their innermost
thoughts, dreams and fears on paper. University of Texas at Austin
psychologist James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling
strengthens immune cells and reduces stress. Not to mention it makes a
great keepsake as they progress through life.
5. Write a story
or make a card. Encourage children to get their creative juices flowing
by writing a story or creating a card for someone. Several celebrated
works started out as a mere idea. Once you write it down, it brings it
To learn more about handwriting, LIKE Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association on Facebook.
 Hanover Research (2012) The Importance of Teaching Handwriting in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: Hanover Research