Brad Onken, Zaner-Bloser, 614-487-2867
    Kitty Porterfield, AASA, kporterfield@aasa.org, 703-774-6953
    Karen Twinem, Paul Werth Associates, ktwinem@paulwerth.com, 614-224-8114



Alexandria, Va. (November 30, 2011) – Educators and university researchers from across the country will gather on January 23 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for “Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit.” Zaner-Bloser in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) will host the day-long event.



Controversy continues to grow over the role of handwriting instruction—especially cursive instruction—in elementary school. The Common Core State Standards allow each state to decide whether to include explicit cursive handwriting instruction. Some educators have begun to discuss eliminating cursive in favor of teaching children to type on keyboards, which is included in the standards for the upper grades. But is that a good idea? What impact will it have on children learning to read and write?


The distinguished university professors and researchers who will discuss the issue at the summit include:


  • Dr. Virginia Berninger, University of Washington
  • Dr. Jane Case-Smith, The Ohio State University
  • Dr. Gerry Conti, Wayne State University
  • Dr. Steve Graham, Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Karin Harman James, Indiana University
  • Dr. Steve Peverly, Teachers College, Columbia University


AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech will deliver the keynote address at the summit. “Understanding the effect of how we learn to write on how well we read is key to making good decisions about how and what we teach our children. This conference gives us a chance to understand the research and work together toward better classroom instruction,” said Domenech.


The summit also will include panel discussions on the role of prewriting in early childhood education, the relationship between handwriting and technology, and the importance of speedwriting and note-taking for college and career readiness.


For more information about the summit, visit http://www.hw21summit.com


About Zaner-Bloser

Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children with more than 120 years of experience in education, is one of the premier publishers of research-based reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting programs. The Zaner-Bloser mission is to create dynamic, appealing and effective educational programs and services. Zaner-Bloser focuses on distinctive programs that inspire all students to become engaged, literate participants in the global society.


About the American Association of School Administrators

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA), founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AASApage.