Cookies and Cursive Summer Camp Fill the Handwriting Gap
posted by: Guest Blogger
It’s no secret that many elementary schools throughout Colorado and the nation have deleted cursive instruction from their curricula. But parents in large part are not happy about this movement because they appreciate the value of cursive as a life-long skill. And as more schools press the delete button on cursive, the topic continues to become a heated conversation among believers in cursive.
When Suzanne Bowland of Denver learned that her third-grade son would not be taught cursive handwriting this year at his Denver Public School, she was disappointed and decided to take matters into her own hands, literally. Bowland grew up in Arvada and attended a Jefferson County public elementary school when cursive was taught rigorously. “In those days,” Bowland says, “good cursive handwriting was extremely important and the pressure was on. Many girls, and boys too, worked very hard to have the prettiest cursive in class. I was one of those girls.” While she fondly reminisces about learning cursive and it became a life-long passion for her, she and other parents realize that schools can’t place the amount of time and emphasis on cursive as they once did because of the realities and demands of the digital age. Yet, at least some exposure to cursive in schools would be a good thing.
For parents in the Denver Metro Area with children who are not learning cursive at school, Bowland set out to help fill the handwriting gap, put her expertise in cursive to good use, and create a unique cursive teaching program for children that would bring excitement into their minds and creative energy to their hands in a no-pressure environment. “Much of my career has been focused in culinary and baking arts education including a major focus on helping pioneer the gluten-free food world in its early days. And when I started to teach my son cursive, I discovered some pretty interesting connections to the language of baking. I thought to myself that children could get excited about learning cursive within a baking context, becoming “cursive chefs” so to speak. So, Cookies and Cursive ™: Mindful & Artistic Handwriting for Children was born.
Bowland says that her cursive system is steeped in the traditional American style, but she parts company with the “old and stodgy” form of instruction familiar during her elementary school days. “Learning cursive is a great way to write quickly and has many benefits for a child’s brain development and overall literacy, but it’s an art form in its own right and should and can be fun for children of today, not strained. While it’s important to learn the basics of form for a good foundation, the beauty of teaching cursive is to give children the knowledge and freedom to bake up their own handwriting style.”
“I can’t imagine if I had not been exposed to cursive in school. I truly love it and appreciate it all the more as we become ever more reliant on daily keyboard communication” says Bowland. “Today, learning cursive is a great way for kids to forget about the computer for a while, slow down, focus, and enjoy the power within their hands with each stroke, loop, tilted egg, and whisk they make”
COOKIES AND CURSIVE™ CAMPS DEBUT JUNE 19TH
Cookies and Cursive ™: Mindful & Artistic Handwriting for Children introduces elementary kids to the delights of the traditional American cursive handwriting style through a fun and engaging learning approach linked to the language of baking. Discover the power of your handwriting and become a cursive chef! Children will learn how to read cursive and begin learning how to properly form letters, write words, sentences, paragraphs, and one’s signature in cursive. The first 8-day Cookies and Cursive™ camp will run June 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29 (9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) at the Koelbel Library in Centennial. Space is limited. Cost is $192 per child (10% discount for more than one child registration per family). Designed for 3rd – 5th graders and children from higher grades are also welcome to participate. Take-home practice is a key component of this program. Call 720-684-8119 for additional locations/dates and to register.