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Good handwriting pays off for St. Andrew student

Hope Alex wins $1,000 for herself and more for her school

Hope Alex, Grand National Champion in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, poses with her principal, Kristen Hughes, and St. Andrew's pastor, Msgr. Michael Souckar.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO

Hope Alex, Grand National Champion in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, poses with her principal, Kristen Hughes, and St. Andrew's pastor, Msgr. Michael Souckar.

CORAL SPRINGS | Having beautiful handwriting has paid off for St. Andrew School student Hope Alex. The eighth-grader earned the title of Grand National Champion for her grade level in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. Out of 300,000 participants in the contest, only nine winners were chosen.

Hope's winning package includes $1,000 cash, a trophy, educational materials valued at $1,000 for St. Andrew School, and a trip for one teacher to attend the 2016 International Literacy Association's annual conference in Boston.

Now in its 25th year, the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest is an annual competition to promote legible handwriting. The contest is open to all students in grades K-8. The contest entries, both manuscript and cursive, are judged according to the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: Shape, Size, Spacing, and Slant.

Despite 21st century advances in technology, such as computers and smart phones that would seem to make handwriting obsolete, researchers, teachers, administrators, therapists, and psychologists are realizing that old-fashioned handwriting is more important than ever. Handwriting has been closely linked with success in reading, spelling, and written expression. A recent study also found that students who take class notes by hand rather than on laptops or tablets, do better in follow-up exams.

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