In Sunday’s paper, in addition to a coupon for Bic writing implements was a call to join the Bic Fight for Your Write campaign.  It is Bic’s mission to “save handwriting”, and toward this end they have a web page full of facts why handwriting matters.  A sample is listed below.

> improves cognitive development
> helps reading skills
> sparks creativity
> increases memory recall
> sharpens critical thinking skills

Yet, despite the many benefits of handwriting, many children are not practicing the skill on a regular basis.  Smartphones, keypads, computer and technology are replacing the pen and pencil and the benefits that flow from them.

Bic also points out that “writing is an important vehicle for communication because it distinguishes us and promotes individuality.” It also assists in helping children become better readers and writers, one of the most important predictors of academic success.

According to the site, experts recommend at least 15 minutes of handwriting each day for students.  The Bic ad shows a young boy holding a pen, and I doubt that he comes even close to writing that much.  (I am not sure that I do, and I write more than most!)

The site provides a host of tools and tips to inspire writing and to help people overcome writers block. It is true: sitting down with a blank page, a set of colored pencils, markers and stickers is much more stimulating than staring at a blank computer page.  Maybe you can try it the next time you’re stuck.  In addition to helping the ideas flow, it will help you recall what you do write and sharpen the thinking around your message — even if you do start out in orange ink!

— beth triplett

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