Students Across the Country Gear Up For the 21st Annual National Handwriting Contest

Sep 26, 2011, 10:20 ET from Zaner-Bloser

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- It's that time of year when students across the country sharpen their pencils and their handwriting skills to compete in the annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

The annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest encourages legible handwriting by testing the abilities of students in grades 1-8 in both public and private schools. Schools hold their own handwriting contests and enter the winning student for each grade level. The contest entries are judged according to the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: size, shape, spacing and slant.

Judges select state winners in grades 1-8 for both public and private schools. State winners compete against each other to become one of the 16 public and private National Grade Level Winners. Then the National Grade Level Winners compete to be chosen as one of eight Grand National Champions. The submission deadline is January 23, 2012 -- National Handwriting Day. More than $100,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to winning students and their teachers and schools.

"Students who have legible handwriting have advantages in their daily work and on standardized tests," said Zaner-Bloser President Bob Page. "Since we started this contest 21 years ago, we've been pleased to see the great response increasing every year as it shows that teachers and their students are proud of the skills they have attained."  

Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship

An exciting new addition to the 2011-2012 contest is the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship. This is a challenging educational opportunity for special needs students to show their best penmanship in a fun competition with their peers. Zaner-Bloser created and named this award in January of 2011 after receiving an entry from Nicholas Maxim, a 5th grader from Readfield, Maine, who submitted a significant cursive entry despite the fact he had been born without hands and his lower arms.  

Eligibility requirements for the Special Needs Handwriting Contest include the following guidelines:

  • One manuscript (print) and one cursive special needs award entry per school
  • A student must have a cognitive delay or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability
  • Each entry must have a special needs recommendation letter on official school letterhead explaining why the student is eligible for the award

All students chosen as "school winners" compete for the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship -- one for manuscript and one for cursive -- worth $1,000 in cash and a trophy.

More than 220,000 students participated in the 2010-2011 contest. The company estimates that more than 2.5 million students have participated in the contest during its 20-year history.  

About Zaner-Bloser

Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children with more than 120 years of experience in education, is one of the premier publishers of research-based reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting programs. The Zaner-Bloser mission is to create dynamic, appealing and effective educational programs and services. Zaner-Bloser focuses on distinctive programs that inspire all students to become engaged, literate participants in the global society.

SOURCE Zaner-Bloser