Library Offers Cursive Club for Kids

And no, that would be cursive as in writing, not cursing! The County Library in Imperial Beach launched a Cursive Club for Kids in January, the only County branch to do so. The idea is to teach youngsters how to write in cursive and have fun at the same time.

But is the writing on the wall for cursive? You keyboard, you text, you fill out forms using block letters. Do kids really need to learn cursive writing anymore? It’s a big debate with some states around the country dropping that requirement for schools. California still requires the skill and one little boy in particular thinks it will help him when he grows up.

Meet Marco Sanchez. The 10-year-old Mendoza Elementary student has been a regular at the Cursive Club for Kids for a number of weeks. “This will help me get a better job in the future,” says Marco.

The fifth grader first got interested in cursive writing the year before. His teacher demonstrated calligraphy to the class. Marco was impressed. So when Marco’s mom saw that the Imperial Beach Library was launching the Cursive Club for Kids last January, she brought him in. She’s seen a big difference. “His handwriting is improving. He does all his homework in cursive,” said Naidy Sanchez.

For his part, Marco says the class is fun. “It feels good doing all the loops, it calms my hand down. Before I came here, I wrote all sloppy.”

Assistant Branch Manager Jose Robles says the kids start learning the shapes first, then the letters before tackling sentences. “It fine tunes your motor skills,” says Robles.

Library staff member Shayna Rians came up with the idea and was the first to teach the class. She says it gives children a place to go after school and teaches them that libraries are more than just books.

The Club meets every Tuesday at 3:30 pm. The first three Tuesdays of each month are spent practicing cursive and the last Tuesday of the month is devoted to writing out greeting cards for local hospital patients to brighten their day.

Marco says writing in cursive is faster than writing in print, not so choppy. Plus, it’s fancier. And if that isn’t enough, Marco says his teacher is impressed at the progress he’s made in his handwriting. 

So will the digital age do away with cursive writing? Maybe, but proponents for cursive say if you can’t write in that style, you can’t read it either. One other thing to think about; forgers find it easier to copy a print signature than one in cursive.

Of course, forgery isn’t a concern for these kids. They’re just having fun learning and writing the ‘fancy’ way; they’re reading books printed in cursive and when the time comes, they’ll be honing their signature in a way that’s exclusively theirs.

So the great print versus cursive divide doesn’t really affect them, they’re getting the best of both worlds.