Cursive Writing: An Endangered Art?
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With schools focusing more on technology, cursive writing is being pushed out the door. Some say that's not a good thing. (Dec. 17)


DURATION: 2:28-----------------------------------------SHOTLIST:SOURCE - ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP CLIENTS ONLYHACIENDA HEIGHTS, CALIFORNIA1. C/U Kid writing cursive2. W/S Kids in class3. SOUNDBITE: ZACHARY GOMEZ/THIRD-GRADER, ST. MARK'S SCHOOL (transcript below)4. C/U Girl writing5. SOUNDBITE: DANIELLE PEREZ/THIRD-GRADER, ST. MARK'S SCHOOL(transcript below)6. C/U Kid writing cursive7. C/U Cursive writing8. M/S Teacher in class with kids9. M/S Girl writing on board10. SOUNDBITE: JAMIE LAWSON/TEACHER, DOLORES HUERTA ELEMENTARY (transcript below)11. M/S Lawson instructing kids12. C/U Kid on computer13. SOUNDBITE: DESIREE MANUEL/PRINCIPAL, DOLORES HUERTA ELEMENTARY (transcript below)---ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP CLIENTS ONLYLOS ANGELES14. M/S Kids looking at writing15. C/U Writing16. C/U Girl's face17. SOUNDBITE: JENNIFER STRONG/TEACHER, ST. MARK'S SCHOOL (transcript below)18. M/S Girl on computer19. M/S Kids on computer20. SOUNDBITE: PROFESSOR STEVE GRAHAM/ARIZONA STATE UNIV. TEACHERS COLLEGE (transcript below)21. M/S Principal Manuel and kids on computer22. C/U Kid on computer23. SOUNDBITE (NO NAME)(transcript below)24. M/S Kids walking in lineVOICE-OVER SCRIPT:Which is mightier, the pencil or the keyboard? In Ms. Strong's 3rd-grade classroom at St. Mark's Lutheran School, cursive beats printing any day.SOUNDBITE: Zachary Gomez/Third-grader, St. Mark's Lutheran School:"I think it's better because it's more faster and you don't have to pick up your pencil." :07But cursive is not without it's challenges.SOUNDBITE: Danielle Perez/Third-grader, St. Mark's Lutheran School:"A few things are the capital B's, the capital T's and F's." :05SOUNDBITE: Zachary Gomez/Third-grader, St. Mark's Lutheran School:"Usually the F's, T's and the J's. And the X's." :08SOUNDBITE: Danielle Perez/Third-grader, St. Mark's Lutheran School:"The F's and T's you have to go like҆ And when you do the back it's pretty hard and also you have to curve like this and it's really hard." :12California and only a handful of other states still require cursive writing as part of the curriculum. The state rules leave it up to individual schools and teachers to balance learning new technology with the basics of writing legibly. Few schools emphasize penmanship like St.Mark's. SOUNDBITE: Jaime Lawson/Fourth grade teacher, Dolores Huerta Elementary "It's pretty cursory. You pass out worksheets, do it for homework, practice if you want kinda thing. A lot of times if you finish your work early you can practice, because some of the kids really like it. But I don't spend a lot of time on it."At Dolores Huerta Elementary in Los Angeles, the focus is on technology, word processing and drilling touch-typing, not penmanship.SOUNDBITE: Desiree Manuel/Principal, Dolores Huerta Elementary "It's great for fine motor skills for younger children but not exactly a cutting edge school that will help support their future endeavors." :10Here, even the kindergarteners work on Ipads. Education researchers say cursive helps students' small motor skills, reading comprehension and helps them on timed essay tests in high school.SOUNDBITE: Professor Steve Graham, Arizona State University School of Education "Do we need to teach two types of scripts at a very crowded age for what we're asking kids to learn in school. Especially now, kids need to get very fluent with the keyboard. If something has to go, one of the two forms of handwriting makes some sense." :17Without knowing cursive, how will students read the Constitution? Or their grandparents letters? Even with all these computers available, these 4th graders think cursive writing is cool.SOUNDBITE: (no name) I use it to write letters, to my family that are far away. RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, LOS ANGELES.-------------------