Zaner-Bloser Inspiring aha Moments

More Than Just a Handwriting Company

A lot has changed since Zaner-Bloser was originally founded in 1888 by Charles Paxton Zaner of Columbus, Ohio, with his business partner, Elmer Ward Bloser. Back then, penmanship wasn’t just a skill—it was a profession, and Charles Zaner’s College of Penmanship was where you went to learn it.

Unlike other schools of penmanship, Zaner-Bloser didn’t just teach how to write beautiful-looking letters. The school taught academics as well! Graduates were skilled penmen and proficient writers, with desirable foundational skills that made them both employable and empowered communicators.

Zaner-Bloser products book covers

Focus on Foundational Excellence

Over the past century-plus, we’ve perfected our approach to teaching cursive and manuscript while expanding our library of literacy- and math-based learning solutions.

In addition to the best-selling Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, our portfolio has grown to include The Superkids Reading Program core reading for K–2, Spelling Connections spelling and word study curriculum, Building Fact Fluency addition/subtraction and multiplication/division resources, materials to support elementary social-emotional learning (SEL), and more.

And while we continue to expand our solutions to meet the evolving needs of teachers and students, we remain committed to helping students develop the foundational skills necessary to think creatively, communicate effectively, and learn joyfully.

Moving Forward …

In 1972, Zaner-Bloser joined the Highlights Family of Companies, with whom we share a system of values and guiding mission to empower children and improve lives.

In 1991, we introduced the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest to recognize excellence in the teaching and learning of manuscript and cursive handwriting. Millions of students have participated since the contest’s inception. Winners are selected at the school, state, and national level for each grade K–8. The opportunity to attend an end-of-year ceremony to meet winners and present awards is a truly memorable occasion for Zaner-Bloser sales consultants and employees!

In 2011 we introduced the Nicholas Maxim Award to recognize handwriting excellence by children with special needs. We select one cursive and one manuscript national champion each year and celebrate all participants’ efforts with a commemorative medallion.

Handwriting contest winners

… and Giving Back

Employees in our hometown of Columbus, Ohio, play a vital role in our community, and we are proud to support a number of local nonprofit and pro-student organizations. Our reach extends across the U.S., with sales associates and off-site employees volunteering in their home states. Together we strive to be a positive force supporting students and educators from all walks of life.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Zaner-Bloser! We look forward to inspiring more “aha” moments in classrooms around the corner and across the country for years to come.


Zaner-Bloser timeline graphic