Students compete in cursive handwriting contest

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 23 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Historical Society recognizes what is becoming a lost art

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Winners of the 2016 Clarkson Historical Society Handwriting Contest display their certificates. Seated, from left: Emma Lenhard, Quest School in Hilton; and Carli Kirkwood, Byron-Bergen Central School. Standing, from left: Louie Conte, Kendall Central School; Aubrey Hammill, Erie, Pa. (Aubrey’s grandmother lives in Brockport); Christina Bishop, Oliver Middle School in Brockport; and Madison Marsh, Holley Central School. Not pictured: Jacey Donahue, Byron-Bergen Central School; Kennedy Jones, Holley Central School; Dakota Thompson, Holley Central School.

BROCKPORT – Orleans County students were well represented in a local cursive handwriting contest.

Students from both the Kendall Central and Holley Central School Districts were among winners honored Saturday afternoon at the Clarkson Historical Society’s Second Annual Handwriting Contest. The award ceremony was held at the restored Clarkson Academy on Rt. 104 just east of Clarkson Corners.

January 23 is John Hancock’s birthday (2016 marks his 279th) and Clarkson Historical Society President Mary Edwards explained that the national “Campaign for Cursive” group has chosen his birthday to celebrate cursive handwriting as his signature is, “the boldest on the Declaration of Independence.”

Madison Marsh, a 9th grader at Holley Jr./Sr. High School, accepts her award for second place in the High School division in the Clarkson Historical Society’s 2016 Cursive Handwriting Contest. Clarkson Historical Society President Mary Edwards looks on.

The Clarkson Historical Society holds summer camps and hosts field trips each year for local students and has emphasized teaching cursive handwriting – quickly becoming a lost art – during these events.

Edwards said Campaign for Cursive reached out to Clarkson regarding holding an event on National Handwriting Day and the cursive writing contest was born.

Winners this year include Louie Conte from Kendall Elementary School, who took second place in the 4th and 5th Grade division. Holley Central School took all three places in the High School division – First Place going to Kennedy Jones, second place going to Madison Marsh and third place going to Dakota Thompson.

Thompson and Jones were unable to attend the award ceremony due to a conflict, but will be presented with their prize on Sunday.

Winning entries were displayed at the Clarkson Academy Saturday afternoon. Those taking part had to write out the sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Students at Kendall Central and Holley Central took four of the nine awards.

Louie Conte, a student at Kendall Elementary School, accepts his cursive handwriting award from Mary Edwards, president of the Clarkson Historical Society during ceremonies at the Clarkson Academy.

Marsh, a 9th grader who lives in Clarendon, says she “loves to write in cursive,” and was inspired by her English teacher, Suzanne Lepkowski, who has a poster about cursive hanging in her classroom.

“It made me want to get into the habit of writing in cursive,” Marsh said.

Louie Conte, who lives in Kendall, said he “just started writing in cursive this year,” and he also enjoys it.

Conte was the only young man among the winners this year and Mary Edwards commended the Kendall School District for their submissions.

“Kendall is doing a really great job,” she said.

The Clarkson Historical Society received 140 entries this year and Edwards encouraged those attending to continue to work on their cursive handwriting skills.

“It’s like your fingerprint,” she said. “No one else can write exactly like you.”

She said learning how to sign your name is part of growing up and being able to sign your name in cursive “will distinguish you in the coming years. It’s a wonderful accomplishment.”

Town of Clarkson Historian Leanna Hale (left) and Clarkson Historical Society President Mary Edwards discuss the importance of cursive handwriting prior to presenting awards Saturday afternoon at the Clarkson Academy on Route 104 in Clarkson.