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Small Towns: Gillett Elementary keeps the art of cursive alive

Posted at 11:08 PM, Nov 22, 2019

GILLETT, Wis — Less and less of Wisconsin's elementary schools have cursive handwriting as part of their basic curriculum. Ever since the rise of tablets and laptops, many school districts have eliminated their cursive courses all together. Tonight NBC26 traveled to the small town of Gillett, where elementary school teachers are making sure their students don't miss out on a lesson in cursive.

At Gillett Elementary in Oconto County cursive lessons have been taught to the 8 and 9 year old students of the third grade class for as long as any of the teachers here, can remember.

"Maria and I have done 32 years (here). We were hired within a week of each other and our entire career has been here," says Brenda Hansen one of the third grade teachers at Gillett Elementary School.

Teachers Maria Woosman and Brenda Hansen say they dedicate about 45 minutes a week to teaching their students cursive. A lesson that they say lasts for the entire school year.

These teachers say research they've dug into suggests that learning cursive, requires a higher thought process than simply printing. Which they say forces their students to use more brain power than printing would require them to.

"It fosters better creativity and it has been shown to help kids with problem solving, language development and growth in areas that you wouldn't normally think about," says Maria Woosmann.

Coming up in early 2020 Wisconsin Legislators plan on voting on a bill that would require all Wisconsin schools to teach the course.