Sacred Heart 6th grader Azlynn Florence wins national award for handwriting

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The 2024 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest saw Sacred Heart student Azlynn Florence named Grand National Champion for grade six. (Irvin Public Relations)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Some say cursive writing it is a dying skill. For the Zaner-Bloser publishing company, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Once a year, the company holds its National Handwriting Contest, receiving thousands of entries from students across the country who want to showcase their penmanship.

Local Sacred Heart student, Azlynn Florence, was recently named the 2024 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest Grand National Champion for grade six.

“As the most recognized contest of its kind, this is a big deal, and Azlynn went up against thousands of other students to represent the region’s best handwriting,” said a media release.  

It also said, “As the most recognized handwriting contest in the U.S., the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest has been celebrating the best in manuscript and cursive penmanship for 33 years. Since 1991, more than 2.5 million students have participated in the contest.

“Every year we receive so many incredible submissions, and we wanted to acknowledge students’ hard work with a title that truly reflects the high level of competition,” said Zaner-Bloser President Lisa Carmona. “It was obvious that all of our regional winners put in a lot of time and effort to master this skillset, and they deserve recognition for their tenacity.

“Students who participate in the competition also profit from the numerous cognitive benefits linked to writing by hand. The handwriting process has been proven to engage more of the brain than the act of typing, provide better recall and help younger students recognize letters more quickly as they learn to read and write.”

Contestants were asked to write the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” as an example of their penmanship, as the sentence holds every letter of the alphabet, requiring knowledge and skill of writing each letter with precision. The entries were judged on four criteria: each letter’s shape, size, slant and spacing, what Zaner-Bloser considers the Four Keys to Legibility.

Florence first competed with her classmates before advancing to the regional level of the competition (where she won the Southeast region), before being named Grand National Champion for her grade.

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