“Reading is like breathing in and writing is like breathing out – children need both to be successful” ~ Pam Allyn, Executive Director and founder of LitWord.
This week I heard Ms. Allyn’s quote for the first time and it really resonated with me. It also got me thinking more about how writing shaped me and was essential in making me the person I am today. I write for a living (with this blog) and I know that all the writing I did as a child and teen helped me be get in the position to do a job I love.
I was in elementary school in the 80s when teaching kids how to write was a big part of the curriculum. I remember sitting with my friend, Carla, at one of our sleepovers and practicing our signatures. We liked the way my mom wrote her “S” in her signature so we tried to get ours to look just like hers. To this day, I still write my “S” the same way. Having neat handwriting and a cool looking signature was important to me.
Pictured here are several of my journals. I filled the pages with my thoughts, secrets and dreams. I wrote letters to my penpals all over the world. My Grandma June and I wrote letters back and forth up until she passed away several years ago.
My own kids are having a much difference experience in today’s world. Everything is digital. I worry that they are losing that important connection to handwriting. I see them spending more time on their tablets, phones and computers and less time physically putting pen (or pencil) to paper.
Handwriting in crucial to a child’s education and development. It not only helps kids build confidence, but it also supports creativity, critical thinking and fine-motor skills. According to Ms. Allyn, studies show that kids who write frequently, both at school and at home, feel more confident in their writing abilities. This confidence translates to success in all academic subjects and non academic environments.
It’s for all these reasons above that I fully support the BIC Fight For Your Write movement to encourage Canadian families to save handwriting for future generations. The goal is to remind Canadians that handwriting matters. Take the BIC Fight For Your Write pledge to show that you agree that writing is important. After you’ve pledged, make sure you check out the writing strategies and tips to help make writing fun for your kids.
BIC Fight For Your Write has also partnered with Breakfast Club of Canada and is donating $10,000 to help them on their mission of providing kids with a healthy breakfast before school. This way kids go to school hungry for knowledge and not food.
In addition, BIC Fight For Your Write is also giving another $10,000 of stationery supplies to Canadian schools. I was honoured to be able to facilitate a direct donation of $500 of stationery supplies to Champlain Discovery Public School, a local elementary school here in Pembroke, ON!
They’ll be receiving a variety of BIC products for kids to use throughout the school year. I can attest that having a good pen (or pencil) makes the writing process easier and fun. Some popular choices are BIC Atlantis® Original Ball Pen, BIC® Extra-Fun™ Pencil, BIC™ 4-Color™ Ball Pen, BIC® Extra-Craze™ Mechanical Pencil, BIC® Velocity® Gel Pen, BIC® Briteliner® Highlighters and BIC Kids™ Mechanical Pencil.
Along with providing with kids with the tools to make writing fun, Ms. Allyn also has five tips to help get kids excited about writing.
- Set aside specific times during the week for writing stories, songs or even jokes. Let your kids use their imaginations.
- Have an assortment of colourful pens and pencils on hand that will make kids want to spend more time writing.
- Make writing special for kids with their own personal table, desk or designated area. Get them excited for their own writing space.
- Give kids a fun assignment that requires them to write. Make a birthday wish list or write a special letter to someone famous.
- Make up games around writing. Practice signing their autograph to give to mom and dad.
Bridget has started writing in her journal every day. I’m happy to see her following in my footsteps. Someday, she’ll be able to look back like I have at all her childhood thoughts and dreams!
I encourage you to also take the BIC Fight For Your Write pledge. Let’s do our part to save handwriting for future generations!
Connect with BIC on Facebook.
One Canadian reader is going to win a BIC stationery prize pack valued at $200! Open to Canada (excludes Quebec).
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.