Three grade-school kids nabbed high honors for penmanship at a city handwriting contest earlier this month.
Fifth-grader Mehrangiz Ahtamova, sixth-grader Vladyslav Grynyk, and eight-grader Jessica Vazquez entered the city’s inaugural Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Contest back in February, writing a single sentence— “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” — as clearly and gracefully as possible.
And after months of waiting, the contest finally named the Brooklyn youngsters three of 11 winners on June 3, and they accepted medals and certificates recognizing their prowess with the pen during a ceremony at their Borough Park school, The Magnet School for Math and Science, two days later, where the contest’s head wordsmith praised the budding scribes for their superior scribbles.
“Writing by hand is an essential skill for literacy development in children of all ages, and this contest offers students and teachers an opportunity to celebrate perseverance, excellence and confident communication,” said Lisa Carmona, Zaner-Bloser president.
Giovanni Blaise, of St. Edmund Elementary School, was also recognized for his stellar handwriting, finishing first among all seventh-graders.
Zaner-Bloser has hosted a national handwriting competition for the past 28 years, but this was the first year the contest hosted a separate event for students in New York City, where local schools are putting a renewed focus on penmanship, according to Carmona.
“New York City Schools has been encouraging schools in recent years to reintroduce or include handwriting instruction,” she said. “With that renewed focus, this year felt like the perfect time to engage more students from New York City into our nationwide contest.”
— Elizabeth Winn
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