P.E.I. schools won't write off cursive writing
Schools across Prince Edward Island say they are trying to save cursive writing in the face of tech-driven classrooms and changing school curriculums.
Some schools in Canada have simply given up on teaching cursive writing.
In Ontario and Quebec it's no longer an official part of the curriculum.
In Nova Scotia it's up to teachers to decide how often students practice looping their letters and crossing their "t's".
P.E.I. Grade 9 student Ashton Ryan said texting and typing are in and cursive is out.
"Nobody uses it in my class I don't find," she said.
Grade 8 student Katie Green agrees.
"I use my phone a lot, and I can't handwrite on my phone at all," she said.
But the Island's Department of Education is sticking by cursive writing. It remains a mandatory part of the curriculum in Grade 3 and Grade 4.
Laurie Targett, a Grade 4 teacher at Vernon River Consolidated School, said her students practice cursive writing for ten minutes every morning and continue to use it in their assignments.
"Often once they learn it they are sort of left to their own devices whether they choose to use it or not. I have the expectation here that once they learn it they continue to use it the rest of the year," she said.
Some of her students said they think cursive is cool.
"You can do it faster," said Karissa Quinn.
"You can write more fluently and once you get older a lot of adults use cursive more often," said Ben O'Brien.
The English School Board's leader of curriculum delivery said there has been plenty of debate over whether teaching cursive writing is worth the effort.
But Tammy Hubley-Little said the department and the board still recognize its value.
"It's important that students are able to read writing and if you think about something as simple as signing a cheque where a student would be expected to use cursive writing to write their name, just functionally it's important to have those skills," she said.
Green admits while texting and typing are cooler, handwriting is an important skill to have.
"When I'm rich and famous I'm going to sign my name cursively, fancy."