GRAPEVINE — At a seminar on handwriting analysis at the Grapevine Public Library, 11 students were asked to copy a sentence in cursive penmanship.Only a few were able to do so.Handwriting analyst Sylvia Tooker, who offered the program, was not surprised.Teachers don’t have time to teach cursive, she said, and most students nowadays prefer using computers and other types of communication.“If kids aren’t learning cursive, is this a detriment to their learning abilities?” asked Tooker, who received her certification as a handwriting expert in 1995 from Handwriting University International.Tooker brought her love of penmanship and its accompanying message to a library seminar. “Handwriting: What it tells us” was part of the library’s ongoing teen outreach.During the session, Tooker analyzed the students’ handwriting samples. Caroline Watson, 11, tried to write in cursive, then crossed it out and wrote beside it “I don’t usually do cursive.” Then she printed the sentence.Even so, Caroline, an avid reader who writes stories specializing in fiction and fantasy, said she prefers writing by hand, not by computer.“I wrote a short story once on the computer and lost it,” said Caroline, who will be in the sixth grade at Grapevine Middle School. “I was devastated.”Megan Harris, a junior at Colleyville Heritage High School, loves to write and is a voracious reader. Harris said she learned cursive as a young student but as she got older, “it was easier not to.”Harris volunteers three hours a week on Thursdays when the library offers many of its teen programs.Leigh Burnham, Grapevine’s children’s librarian, and Romy Kadurugamuwa , youth librarian, said the program was part of its summer offerings for teens. Other classes have featured balloon sculptures and improvisation and acting. “What we offer is very interesting and very diverse,” Burnham said. “We like to offer something for everyone.”Kadurugamuwa said she was hired specifically to reach out to teens.“We think its an important age group because it’s such a unique group,” she said. “They’re not kids and they’re not adults. Their needs are different, especially in the area of education.”Maggie Hattan, 11, who attends the Barbara Gordon Montessori School in Colleyville, enjoys the library specials.“It’s something to do other than getting on the computer,” she said.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367