Is the key to reversing the decline of our democracy held not in our hands, but in our handwriting? Inspired by the last election, some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have banded together to bring back good, old-fashioned cursive — for the common good.
While DIY workshops and online tutorials abound to teach fancy, throwback writing skills like hand lettering and calligraphy to America’s older generations and creative class—some of whom could be said are obsessed with all things nostalgic and analog—elected officials on both sides of the aisle are pushing for the simple art of scripting to be taught in elementary schools again.
Back in November, New York state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis was inspired to draw the line on the cursive generation gap when she encountered an 18-year-old at a voter registration event printing out his name in block letters, according to the Associated Press.
“I said to him, ‘No, you have to sign here,'” Malliotakis told AP. “And he said, ‘That is my signature. I never learned script.'”
Malliotakis, a Republican from the New York City borough of Staten Island, also noted that students who can’t read cursive will never be able to read historical documents. “If an American student cannot read the Declaration of Independence, that is sad.”
Also sad to not just luddites but many who practiced the art of penmanship long before the age of Pinterest is not just that cursive fell out of favor for any number of reasons, but the block-lettering and abhorrent grammar brought about by technology, texting, and autocorrect. Research now shows that fluent cursive has always helped students master writing tasks such as spelling and sentence construction because they don’t have to think as much about forming letters, leading educators and lawmakers in 14 states as of 2016 — including Alabama, Louisiana, and the 1.1 million-student New York Public Schools — to reintroduce cursive writing to the curriculum.
Read more about why cursive writing is making a comeback over at Good Housekeeping.