- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is holding a series of workshops to teach cursive writing and its importance in history.

The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/290rFeh ) reports that the museum will host eight workshops every Thursday through July 28.

Cynthia Martinez-Woelk, a museum educator and art teacher at Irving Elementary School, says the workshop was conceived while discussing ideas on how to get younger children involved in learning local history.

“For us to even learn our own history about Wichita - it’s written in cursive, so it’s so important for our heritage here to know cursive handwriting,” said Martinez-Woelk.

Teachers in many school districts across the United States have dropped cursive to concentrate on Common Core guidelines intended to ensure high school graduates are ready for college or a career.

Cursive handwriting had not been a regular part of the Wichita school district’s curriculum until 2013, when the Kansas Board of Education implemented new handwriting standards. However, the state board doesn’t mandate how cursive should be taught.

“The board strongly encourages districts and schools to teach cursive handwriting, but it is a local decision, so basically it’s up to each district whether or not to teach them,” said Ann Bush, a spokeswoman for the Kansas State Department of Education.

Museum workshop instructor Terri Evans said she thinks the art of conversation is being lost, and that people spend too much time texting instead of engaging in actual conversation. She said handwriting plays an important role in this aspect of communication.

“I would like to see it . come back, simply because I think it’s the beauty of it and the fact that I think it’s a more personal way to interact with other people,” Evans said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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