Before the rise of computers and tablets, people hand wrote stories, notes, and much more. With the development of these technologies, the importance placed on teaching handwriting begin to decline. At Highlights Family of Companies, penmanship is highly valued. Our sister company, Zaner-Bloser (ZB) began a handwriting competition 35 years ago to celebrate handwriting and promote good penmanship. This year, ZB teamed up with our partner based in the United Arab Emirates, Smart Education, and the Ministry of Education (MOE) to host the first ever Smart Education UAE National Handwriting Contest.
Nearly 300 students from four schools in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Fujairah came together in the ministry’s brainstorming room. The grades ranged from 3rd through 5th and students had the option to write in cursive or print. Each student was asked to write one sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet—“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Then, students were evaluated on the shape, size, slant, and spacing of their letters and words, and a winner was chosen from each grade. The 3rd grade winner was Rashid Ahmad from Al Wadi Boys school in Sharjah; the 4th grade prize was won by Wadeema Salah from Sara School in Dubai; and Reem Al Naqbi from Omama Bint Abi Al Aas School in Fujairah for 5th grade. The three winners received a champion certificate, a trophy, and a tablet from Smart Education.
“Utilizing technology in the classroom is great, but we have to make sure we’re not losing important skills along the way. It’s great to see our partners finding innovative and fun ways to keep these vital skills relevant and in the spotlight,” said Carra Pappalardo, Territory Director at Highlights International. Moving forward, Smart Education hopes to expand the competition, inviting both private and public schools to participate and make it a nationwide contest! If you would like to host a handwriting competition in your market, let us know!