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Elementary and Middle School Students Advance to Represent the Nation’s Best in 2016 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 11, 2016)—Out of more than 270,000 handwriting entries, 18 students, from private and public schools, emerged to represent their grade level as the best in handwriting. Celebrating its 25th year sponsoring the National Handwriting Contest, Zaner-Bloser officially announced the National Grade-Level Semifinalists as well as those students who advanced as Grand National Grade-Level Champions in the 2016 National Handwriting Contest.

Participating schools held their own handwriting competitions for kindergarten through eighth grades, then entered each winning student into the national contest. Kindergarten through second-grade students submitted manuscript (or print) entries, and those in third through eighth grades wrote in cursive. Judges selected winners for both public and private schools based on the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: Shape, Size, Spacing, and Slant. The state winners then competed to become National Grade-Level Semifinalists and Grand National Grade-Level Champions.

"Research shows that handwriting skills impact a student’s overall literacy development and early fine motor skills that predict later academic achievement," said Donna Schultz, president of Zaner-Bloser. "Congratulations to all these students and their schools for their commitment to developing the efficient handwriting skills that set up a solid foundation of academic success."

Grand National Grade-Level Champions include the following:

Grade K: Caitlin Cahutay—Baltimore, Maryland—Saint Joseph School

Grade 1: Donald Yu—Elmwood Park, Illinois—Elmwood Elementary School

Grade 2: William Markevich—Chicago, Illinois—Saint Constance School

Grade 3: Cecilia Saad—Glen Head, New York—Green Vale School

Grade 4: Ella Erickson—Jeffers, Minnesota—Red Rock Central Elementary School

Grade 5: Grace Diane Nesvacil—Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin—Valley View Elementary School

Grade 6: Madeline McBride—Cullman, Alabama—Sacred Heart School

Grade 7: Jose Andres Ramos—Victoria, Texas—Our Lady of Victory School

Grade 8: Hope Mary Alex—Coral Springs, Florida—Saint Andrew School

Zaner-Bloser estimates that approximately 4 million students have participated in the contest throughout its 25-year history. Each Grand National Grade-Level Champion earns a trophy, a check for $1,000, and educational materials for their school valued at $1,000.

In addition, the teacher of each Grand National Grade-Level Champion is awarded with a trip to the International Literacy Association Annual Conference in July.

Congratulations to the following National Grade-Level Semifinalists:

Grade K: Sarah Papineni—Corpus Christi, Texas—Seashore Learning Center

Grade 1: Thomas Bui—Westminster, California—Blessed Sacrament School

Grade 2: Danica Rutten—Lewistown, Montana—Highland Park Elementary School

Grade 3: Lucyann Tappan—Wyckoff, New Jersey—Sicomac Elementary School

Grade 4: Emilyn Jozelle Auriantal—Willimantic, Connecticut—St. Mary & Joseph School

Grade 5: Avery Ruth Stanfill—Saint Louis, Missouri—Kirk Day School

Grade 6: Brenna Haufler—Oceanside, New York—School 9e Walter S Boardman

Grade 7: Emily Margaret Stanley—Monroeville, Ohio—Monroeville Elementary School

Grade 8: Alphonso Alan Oliver Jr.—South Bend, Indiana—Veritas Academy

For information on the 2017 National Handwriting Contest,

About Zaner-Bloser

Zaner-Bloser is an educational-solutions company specializing in delivering explicit instruction and a solid academic foundation for PreK–8 students in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and other language arts. Our core digital and print resources include Superkids, Spelling Connections, Strategies for Writers, and Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. As a member of the Highlights Family of Companies, we strive to always do what's right for children and make a significant contribution to their education. Visit for more information.

Media Contact:

Celina Fabrizio
Cell: 614.745.9462