Cursive Writing

Dear Editor,

In response to Virginia Helms, St. Clairsville, regarding “cursive writing”:

Ms. Helms, you are correct, cursive writing is an art!

If it is not being taught in the Martins Ferry School System, shame on them! All schools should have this on their curriculum!

I had cursive writing, as best as I can recall, beginning in the fifth grade with Mrs. Robert Roe, at Washington Grade School, which was located in North Wheeling.

Each student had to purchase a special pen, not a pencil and write cursive after reading a small book, a book report so to speak. Paragraphs were important, there was a subject, that we had to write a full page on or more. Like you, the room was quiet and soft music was played as Mrs. Roe walked around the room to see what each student was doing or writing.

Sometimes she would stop at my desk and others and offer a suggestion on how to phrase something a little different.We were pleased when she said, “Good job” and patted us on the back. From that, she would then go and sit at her desk and relax or change the record, if it had finished to the end of the record.

My best friend and I really cared for Mrs. Roe, she also taught sewing and we made a dress or shorts or whatever we picked out. She would oversee our sewing, ironing the material we bought, pinning on the patters, always so polite. Sewing is something else that should still be taught in the school systems. Every student is good at something, be it art, sewing, basketball, football or anything reasonable. Why should any student feel worthless, sitting in a room watching videos, have no homework, just to keep Math scores at an all time high to get monies or whatever the reason is?

Shelley and I would ride from North Wheeling to Warwood on our bicycles to visit her. She was always happy to see us. She would serve us tea and cookies. We would stay while and begin our trek back to North Wheeling.

Mrs. Roe taught reading, cursive writing and sewing, and much more. We were learning more than we realized, like, relationships with teachers, our classmates, how to develop ways to work well with other people, of all ages.

I didn’t mention that at the end of cursive writing class, we had to pass our papers to the front of the class, along with our pens. Each pen had our name on it, so she kept them until our next writing class. A different student collected the papers and pens and took them to her desk. Likewise, at the beginning of the class, a student was chosen to pass out the paper, pens and books. Everything was done in an orderly manner, teaching us so many things that I could not count on both hands.

Your Father was an Icon, as they say today! I hope his teaching lives on and on.

You are also to be commended for being a teacher, that contains to care about art, not only through cursive writing, but music and so much more.


Rebecca L. (Schultz) Helal

Martins Ferry