Mollie Grace Strong, a fourth-grade student at Homestead Elementary School, was the fourth-grade Grand National Champion in the 2014 National Handwriting Contest.
Strong was awarded a trophy and a check for $1,000 while Homestead Elementary School will receive educational materials valued at $1,000. In addition, Strong's teacher, Cynthia Webb, was awarded a trip to the International Reading Association annual conference.
Out of a national pool of more than 300,000 entries, 18 students from across the country emerged for their handwriting excellence, representing both private and public schools. Nine of those students now hold the Grand National Grade-Level Champion title, representing their grade level for the very best in handwriting.
Public and private schools first held their own handwriting contests, both manuscript and cursive, and entered each winning student, grades K–8, into the national contest. Students then advanced to become State Winners in their grade. These State Winners then competed against each other to become the public school and private school National Grade-Level Semifinalists. The 18 National Grade-Level Semifinalists then competed to become one of nine Grand National Grade-Level Champions. Judges based all contest entries on the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: Size, Shape, Spacing, and Slant.
“We’re thrilled about this opportunity to honor students who put their hard work and dedication into handwriting and to recognize the educators who teach this foundational skill,” said Bob Page, president of Zaner-Bloser. “This year’s contest is particularly exciting because we’ve added a kindergarten category, which allows us to highlight the importance of learning this skill at an early age for literacy development.”
Zaner-Bloser estimates that approximately 3.6 million students have participated in the contest throughout its 23-year history.
Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children celebrating 125 years of experience in education this year, is an educational curricula and digital resources provider in language arts/literacy, 21st century learning, and social-emotional learning. Zaner-Bloser provides flexible solutions and services that improve results and inspire students to become lifelong learners and is committed to meeting schools’ needs today—and in the future.