Today is National Handwriting Day which quite honestly begs the question is there still a need for National Handwriting Day? I mean Generation Zers (I still don’t know if that’s what they’re called) may actually go their entire lifetimes without having to use handwriting other than to sign their name if that.
And I get schools all across the country are struggling with if it’s even a good idea to teach handwriting any more. I mean with the limited time schools have to teach our children should they really be using all that time to teach kids handwriting when they’ll be using other skills like keyboarding a lot more.
So is there really a need for National Handwriting Day. I say yes. More than ever.
There may not be anything as powerful as a handwritten note. Especially one that says thank you. It’s certainly a lot more powerful than an e-mail.
National Handwriting Day was started in 1977 admittedly by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association as a marketing ploy to get people to use pens, pencils and paper more. But now it’s actually turned into a day to get people to put down their smartphones, tablets or whatever and actually use pen and paper.
And for educators whose time is so valuable there’s actually National Handwriting Day lessons. And it appears the Writing Instrument Manufactures Association has accepted reality and is even using social media to promote its cause as you can post #National Handwriting Day.
Jan. 23 was chosen to be National Handwriting Day because it’s John Hancock’s birthday. Of course Hancock was the first one to sign the Declaration of Independence and we all know he didn’t exactly leave all the other founding fathers much room to place their signatures.
I do admit, though, I haven’t heard the phrase “Put your John Hancock here” lately and I miss it.
So on this National Handwriting Day, give a handwritten note to a Generation Zer and after that teenager asks “what’s this?” the befuddled look on that teenager’s face may be priceless.
— Charles Whisnand