Letter to the Editor 11-15-13

Dear Editor,
 Why should our kids (and we) be able to read and write cursive?
I don’t know about you, but I love cursive writing. I loved it so much in 3rd grade when Mrs. Simmons would have us write stories about the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock in cursive. It was so beautiful and flowing and empowering to be able to write this way. We then illustrated our writings with pictures and also made hand-dipped candles. What a great lesson and what a great teacher!  This love for beautiful writing led me to teach calligraphy as an art teacher many years later.
 One of the coolest things now is to be able to do family research and be able to read the old, handwritten letters. It can be difficult to decipher the older words and styles of cursive, but they are a treasure.
 If I had not been given the foundation by my great teacher, I would have missed out of looking in our old German family Bible from my great-great grandmother. I am able to read the words that were penned so long ago.
 According to Iris Hatfield, a handwriting coach, here are some of the amazing things that cursive teaches:
 1. Improved neural connections in the brain. Cursive handwriting stimulates the brain in ways that typing cannot. It improves the dynamic interplay of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, helps build neural pathways and increases mental effectiveness. According to Virginia Berninger, a researcher and professor of educational lpsychology at the University of Washington, “Pictures of brain activity have illustrated that sequential finger movements used in handwriting activated massive regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory.  Handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential finger strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding only involves touching a key.”
 2. Increased ability to read cursive. Learning to write in cursive improves a student’s ability to read cursive. Many high school students cannot read cursive. They are cursively illiterate in their own language.
 So, what is my purpose in bringing this up? The new education standards that are in our schools here in Concordia and across the nation (called Common Core) have dropped the teaching of cursive handwriting.
 Yes, these standards tell us that only typing is needed in this modern age. It is true that even now, I am typing this on my computer. But, if I had not learned cursive as a child, I would not be able to read what was written in the past. I would not be able to read the “foreign language” of cursive. I would have lost my connection to history.
 Please ask yourself, “Why do the new standards do away with this?” Find out, research this Common Core. Be curious.
                                                                                                     Kathy Schmitz
                                                                                                    Art Instructor
                                                                                                    Manhattan High & CCCC

OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor 8-26-14

Dear Editor,   Another Relay for Life has come and gone.  It was in hopes that the time change this year was going to be a good thing, but with the weather conditions turning from lightning and then rain it was an evening that was cut short.  The Relay Committee... [More]

Prairie Pondering

Changing with the times . . .  Recently, a filler piece in a newspaper told how the clothing people wear to church has changed with the times and customs, and not for the better according to the writer.... I remember there was a certain ritual from the time we gathered... [More]

More Opinions

NEWS

CHS students in JAG program share their stories with governor

 Students participating in the Jobs for America's Graduates, JAG-Kansas, at Concordia High School had the opportunity to tell their stories to Gov. Sam Brownback. Brownback met with the students and instructor Alisha Sipe during a visit to the classroom on Wednesday.  “I... [More]

Courthouse 8-28-14

District Court LIMITED CIVIL Settled: Central National Bank received a judgment of $364.92 plus costs and interest from Mary Sue Stimatze, Concordia. Champlin Tire Recycling Inc. received a judgment of $379.13 plus interest and costs from Johnny Bass dba Johnny B's Roadside... [More]

County board approves hauling contract

 Cloud County board of commissioners Monday approved a new solid waste hauling contract for 2015 with PJ Owen of Owen Trucking. The vote followed a discussion with Owen and Solid Waste director Mike Hake.  Because of increased costs, the contract price for 2015 will... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Former CCCC coach remembered

 Last week, Cloud County Community College lost one of a kind with the death of its first head basketball coach Larry Forsythe.  Forsythe coached the Thunderbirds from 1966 through 1975, compiling a record of 167 wins and  99 losses. His teams never finished lower... [More]

Garden City hands CCCC 3-1 defeat

GARDEN CITY — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team opened the Jayhawk Conference Western Division season with a 3-1 loss to Garden City Community College. Garden City rolled to a 25-15 victory in the first set of the match. Cloud County, now 3-2 overall, evened... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos