Published July 19, 2023
HAPEVILLE—Lexi Pham, who just completed the 5th grade at St. John the Evangelist School, was selected the 5th-grade Grand National Champion in the 32nd annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. That means Lexi had the best cursive handwriting among all of the 5th grade entries from across the country. The school recognized Lexi at an assembly on May 26.
The contest, sponsored by educational publisher Zaner-Bloser, is the longest-running and best-known competition of its kind in the U.S., attracting close to 80,000 students each year in kindergarten through eighth grade.
All students write the required sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” because it contains every letter of the alphabet. Judges select winners based on Zaner-Bloser’s four keys to legibility: the shape, size, spacing and slant of the letters.
Along with the fun of competition, contestants reap the cognitive benefits that stem from the handwriting process. Contest organizers said writing by hand engages more of the brain and enables better recall than using a keyboard and in the early grades, learning to write letters by hand helps children learn to recognize them more quickly.
Each Grand National Champion receives an engraved Zaner-Bloser trophy and a $500 check. Their schools receive a $1,000 Zaner-Bloser product voucher and a certificate of achievement handcrafted by master penman Michael Sull. The winners’ teachers also receive a handcrafted, personalized certificate.
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