Category Archives: Schoolcraft

Matt Wagner Returns Home While on Tour with Diavolo

By Sue Moore

The scene in the Schoolcraft Middle School library was one of adulation as all the school’s 5th graders crowded around their hero, Matt Wagner. He talked about his experiences as a gymnast with the Diavolo dance troupe which performed at Miller Auditorium on Feb. 27 and 28. The students attended the daytime performance on the 28th as part of Kalamazoo County’s Education for the Arts program.

Wagner grew up on Barton Lake, attended school at Howardsville Christian school and was a neighbor of Kelli Mein, one of the fifth-grade teachers in Schoolcraft. She had invited Wagner to come and talk to the students while in Kalamazoo for the performances. He was gracious enough to oblige, she said.

The students’ hands were up repeatedly, asking questions about his work, his experiences and even his conditioning for the arduous dance routines the unit performs. The group is subtitled “architecture in motion. The routines resemble modern dance to some extent but also involve athletic techniques, gymnastics and endurance. The structures they perform on cost millions to construct, Wagner told the students.
Some of the questions they asked:

How much do you practice? “Sometimes many hours a day.”

Do you know how to play Fortnite (an online video game)? “Yes, but I don’t play it.”

Why is Jacques the leader? “It was his dream to have a dance troupe.” Jacques Heim is the troupe’s founder and artistic director.

How much does it cost for the entire troupe to travel? “A lot. The 16 to 18 people have to fly, stay in a hotel room, travel in buses to get to the performance venue, rent studios for practice, pay for food for each day, employ truck drivers for the rented semi-trailers, costumes and sets. It adds up fast.”

What’s the biggest theatre you have performed in? “One in Germany where we appeared on TV.”

How did you come up with the logo? “Jacques actually did and this is the second one we have that plays on the name Diavolo.”

Did you win on America’s Got Talent? “No, we placed second.”

Did you get to talk to the winners? “We spend a lot of time waiting around backstage and get to know the other contestants.”

Do you get paid for doing this? “Not a lot but getting paid for what you love to do is not a problem.”

Do people recognize you when walking down the street? “No.”

Can you do a back flip on the ground? “Yes.”

Can you do a side aerial? “Yes.”

Do you get injuries? “We don’t use safety nets or mats when flying. We do have bumps and bruises but that just goes with the territory.”

After the performance some students waited around to get Matt’s autograph and ask him a few more questions. It appeared that they felt a little star struck and desired to know more.

When asked if he had any advice for the 5th graders, he replied, “The more you do, the better life can be for you! Always be willing to try new things!”

Tournament of Writers Now Accepting Entries

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Winners from the 2018 Tournament of Writers gather for their official picture after receiving their awards. Photo by Bill Christiansen.

By Jake Munson

“Swords down, Pens up, Get clacking, Go!” It’s time for the Tournament of Writers, a local writing contest for writers of all ages, sponsored by the Schoolcraft Friends of the Library. Now in its fifth year, the Tournament of Writers will partner with the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center for the first time.

“We wanted to expand the tournament to include more area writers and judges,” Tournament Coordinator Deb Christiansen explained. She turned to the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center. “We have admired the Tournament and are excited to help grow this fun local competition,” said Syd Bastos, board president and acting executive director of the Cultural Arts Center. The Tournament is also supported by the Friends of the Schoolcraft Library, the Schoolcraft Community Library and the Vicksburg District Library.

“This tournament is all about flexing the writing muscle and getting published. I’m encouraging those who may be on the fence about this to be bold and enter,” Christiansen said. The tournament is unique in that entries are judged by individuals who use their own criteria for judging. No meetings! There is a small entry fee, but entrants are encouraged to think of this as an investment in themselves and the community. Published authors are allowed to enter this tournament, but submissions must be unpublished. Entries may be submitted through Friday, March 29.

Last year there was a tie for Grand Prize winner: Sonya Sutherland of Vicksburg in Adult Fiction for her stunning piece titled, Living In The Moment and Amelia Brown of Schoolcraft for her beautiful graphic novel titled, Can You Hear Me?

“All the scoring was tight last year,” Christiansen pointed out. “Marilyn Jones of Schoolcraft and Barbara Vortman of Portage were neck and neck until the final point went to Vortman, and she garnered First Prize in Super Senior Fiction.” Marilyn Jones actually inspired the creation of the Super Senior Division, which is for those 70 and over. “I don’t have anything in common with a 50-year-old!” Jones exclaimed. Last year Christiansen created a “Director’s Award” that went to Jenna Pickern of Schoolcraft for her self-publishing endeavors.

There’s a new category this year—script/play, which will not have an age division, since new categories tend to not have many entries. Last year’s graphic novel took Grand Prize and was created by teen Amelia Brown. “Amelia was the only entry in the Graphic Novel category, but it was so good!”

Categories judged in age divisions are Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. There are five divisions, Junior (up to 6th grade), Teen (7th through 12th grade), Adult (Out of High School to 49), Senior (50 to 69), and Super Senior (70 and above). “The Junior Non-Fiction category hasn’t had any entries yet,” she said, “so if there are any future journalists or humanitarians out there, we’d like to hear from you.”

Entries will be judged during the month of April. Winners will be notified in early May, and there will be an awards ceremony. Authors will be published in Small Town Anthology V and each will receive a copy of the book. A book signing will be held in September. “Last year’s books were delayed because of the hurricane, and we had to postpone the book signing for a week,” Christiansen said.

Further details about the Tournament and how to enter can be found at booksfordessert.com or at the Schoolcraft Community and Vicksburg District Library.

Winners Announced for the Battle of the Books

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The Star Readers from Sunset Lake Elementary are presented with their first-place trophy by Schoolcraft Library director Faye VanRavenswaay. They include Matthew Peters, captain; Isaac Sandelin, captain; Oliver Hammond, Caiden Caswell, Quincy Schwartz, Ian Triemstra. Their coaches were Brenda Peters and Connie Sandelin.

By Sue Moore

A team of 4th graders from Sunset Elementary school walked away the winners at the Grand Battle of the Books, sponsored in late February by the Schoolcraft District Library. It’s a voluntary reading competition that requires remembering all sorts of arcane facts about each book they are assigned to read.

The Star Readers, a team of all boys, were leading the other three teams right from the beginning of the contest with an almost perfect score. They came up short on only two of 21 questions for the contest. Their total score of 99 points was 10 points better than the runner up team of Remembering Marvel from Schoolcraft.

A total of 29 teams with 179 children entered from Schoolcraft and Vicksburg elementary buildings. Students from 4th through 6th grade are eligible to form teams of five to seven kids, with six preferred. They appoint captains and have one or two coaches to help with suggestions on reading and remembering the details in the 12 required reading books.

In the competition, moderator Jenny Taylor asked detailed questions about the books from a predetermined reading list. Team members must provide the correct answer to the question and the book’s author to score points. They start reading in early November, then figure out the name of their team and the T-shirt designs they’ll wear for the contest.

The tension is palpable on the stage when the last four teams standing for the Grand Battle take the stage. There is a lot of energy coming from the team members every minute of the hour-long contest. Scores are flashed up on the big Schoolcraft Performing Arts Center screen for the large audience to watch during the Q&A session.

The winning Star Readers team was comprised of Matthew Peters, captain; Isaac Sandelin, captain; Oliver Hammond, Caiden Caswell, Quincy Schwartz and Ian Triemstra. Their two coaches were Brenda Peters and Connie Sandelin. The Book Einsteins from Vicksburg were third and the Roaring Readers from Schoolcraft came in fourth.

Faye VanRavenswaay the Schoolcraft library director is the coordinator for the Battle. She and Taylor a third grade teacher at Sunset School both serve as judges. The also work together to choose the books each year. Also, it was the 22nd year for Thom and Kris DeWolf volunteering at the scoring table.

Obituaries

Danny Lee Castle, was born April 30, 1953, in Kalamazoo, the son of Glenn and Irene (Cothran) Castle. He graduated from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1971. Danny liked to tell folks he studied at the University of Honky-Tonks, Dives and Biker Bars, where he could often be found playing as a member of the band. Music was Danny’s language, his vocation and his greatest joy. He played in several regional and local bands throughout the years including North Country, Upland Express, Barker’s Castle, and JAG Band. In 1974, Danny composed the song, “Michigan Again,” which was recorded by Rutzy Leonard and the Morrow River Gang on WOW records in 1978. On his 65th birthday, Danny was diagnosed with a very rare type of bile duct cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. He fought hard to enjoy the remaining days of his life – far exceeding the short life expectancy he had been given. Danny’s legacy will be the many ways he showed his family and friends the value of living life on your own terms, keeping a song in your heart and demonstrating that love and kindness are by far the most important and richest traits a person can possess. Danny began his celebration in the afterlife on Feb. 24, reuniting with his parents and brothers, William Castle and Carl “Butch” Castle. Danny is survived by his loving wife, Dana Hetrick Castle, and children Angela (Kevin Dockerty) Peck, of Schoolcraft; Elizabeth (Tyler) Cheesebro of Virginia Beach, Va. and Jake (Haley) Ross of Ooltewah, Tenn. He was affectionately known as Grampy to Rilley, Lillian and Serie Briggs; Mason and Peyton Ross and Graham and Fynn Cheesebro. Danny is also survived by three siblings, Larry Castle of Florida, Susan (Robert) Eaton of Portage, Mary (Bruce) Edmonson of Parchment; sisters-in-law Janis (John) Castle-Dodge of Mason, Mich. and Linda Castle of Galesburg; a very special cousin, Colleen (Dennis) Ocker of Grand Rapids; several special nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as a large circle of friends. A memorial gathering was held on Saturday, March 2 at the VFW in Augusta. A memorial wake will be held later this summer. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg.

Lee A. Coville, Sr., 91, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 4. Lee was born Aug. 12, 1927 to Harold and Luvera (Verrill) Coville. Lee was a lifelong farmer who also enjoyed dancing, singing karaoke, bowling, and his family. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1947. Lee leaves behind his wife, Lori Ann (Bacon); a son, Lynn (Stacey) of Vicksburg; a daughter, Beth Marie (David) Davis, of Dowagiac; and a stepdaughter, Molly Beale (Dan) of Vicksburg. Lee also leaves behind 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Lee is survived by his brother, Wendell (Linda) Coville; daughter in law, Karen Coville; and several other brothers and sisters in law. Lee was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn Marie (Brown); a son, Lee Albert Jr.; a sister, Annabelle Scheibner; a brother, Harold (Barney) Coville; and a nephew, Thomas “Jeffrey” Brown, whom he raised. Donations may be directed to the Coville family to cover expenses.

Janet Ellen Doorn, 71, Scotts, passed Feb. 2. She is survived by daughters Michael (Chris) Schoultz of Scotts and Deanne (Jeremy Crabtree) Doorn of Portage; siblings Carol (Ken) Stuart, James Nelson; sister in law Linda Hinds; grandchildren Andrew, Olivia, and Jaxson as well as several special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Amy Bartolameolli; parents Ed and Anne Nelson; siblings Rick, Tom, and Barbara; as well as Don Doorn. Please visit Janet’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the family.

Max “Mike” Eberstein, 76, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 3. He was born Dec. 1, 1942, in Vicksburg,to Max E. and Marie (Stevens) Eberstein. He is survived by his wife, Jill Eberstein; his children, Scott (Linda) Eberstein, Sherry (Ivan) Riddle, Kevin (Lisa) Eberstein, and Tammy (Tom) Parsons; 19 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Due to Mike’s wishes the family will be having a private memorial service. Donations may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or the West Michigan Cancer Center. Please visit Max’s page at langelands.com.

James E. Erskine, Scotts, passed away Feb. 7. He was born to Ernest and Marcella Erskine on June 11, 1946. After graduating from Vicksburg High School, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1968. He worked at General Motors for 33 years. One of Jim’s highlights was the annual pig roast that he hosted for 30 years. One of his favorite things to do was to head up north to his deer camp near Escanaba. Jim’s family includes his wife, Bonnie Erskine; daughters Shelly Hirdning and Stacy Erskine; step-children Maria (Mick) McCallister and Kevin Bowling; granddaughter Shelby Hirdning; step-grandchildren Terra McCallister, Karissa McCallister, Miranda McCallister, Caden Bowling, Conner Bowling and Carson Bowling; great-granddaughter Paisley Bunch; siblings Virginia Schuring, Judy (Don) Hatfield, and John Erskine. Jim also leaves behind numerous close friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Robert Schuring and granddaughter Stephanie Hirdning. Jim will be buried with military honors at the Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit Jim’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Heartland Hospice.

Linda Gail Gerow, Schoolcraft, died peacefully Feb. 16 at Rose Arbor Hospice. She was born to Clayton and Twilah (Huss) Stevens on December 17, 1950. She graduated from Portage Central in 1969. Surviving are her husband, Kim; children Sarah Gasper, Jeff (Deanna) Gerow, and Mandy (Ryan) White; grandchildren Cory, Derek, Bailey, Clayton, Brennan, Savannah, Irelyn, Lindsay, Chelsea, Brooke; five great-grandchildren; father-in-law Raymond Gerow; and many nieces and nephews. Linda was preceded in death by her parents. Services were held Thursday, Feb. 21. Burial will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Linda’s page at betzlerfuneralhome.com. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dr. John Michael “Mick” Hanley, 73, of Scotts, passed away Feb. 11. He was born September 26, 1945 in Butte, Montana to the late John and Elizabeth (Harrington) Hanley. Mick earned his B.A. in English from the University of Montana-Dillon. He taught high school English and coached for three years. He then earned his M.A. in speech-pathology and audiology from the University of Montana and practiced in public schools until 1974. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in speech hearing and science from the University of Iowa, where he served as a faculty member from 1977-1980 before joining the faculty at Western Michigan University. In 1990, Mick became the chair of Western’s Speech Pathology and Audiology Department and served in that position for 17 years. Mick’s areas of expertise included research, training, and clinical emphasis on the communication disorder of stuttering. During his years at WMU, Mick won the WMU Distinguished Service Award as well as the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders Distinguished Service Award. In 2006, the John “Mick” Hanley Endowed Scholarship was established at Western. Mick enjoyed golfing, skiing, reading, and camping. He was married to his best friend, Sherry Matson, on Aug. 10, 1968. Mick was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Kevin Sean Hanley. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sherry Hanley; son, Keith Michael (Lisa) Hanley; grandchildren, Brady John and Brody Michael Hanley; sister, June (Joel) Berry; brother, James Hanley; and numerous nieces and nephews. Donations may be made to the Dr. John M. Hanley Endowed Scholarship at Western Michigan University or the American Cancer Society.

Fred Kohler, 71, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 10. He was born Sept. 20, 1947 to Arnold and Maxine Kohler. Fred’s family includes his former wife, Cynthia Wolf; children Arnie (Melissa) Kohler, Bradley Kohler and Pamela Grgrich; grandchildren Devon, Jordan and McKenzie; siblings Tom (Brenda) Skelton, Mike (Marsha) Skelton and Dennis (Joan) Humphrey and many nieces and nephews. Fred was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Nancy Shutes. A memorial service for Fred will be held at a later date to be announced. Services are being handled by McCowen & Secord Life Story Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, Vicksburg. Fred will be buried with military honors at the Fort Custer National Cemetery. Visit Fred’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Disabled Veterans.

Marjorie “Margie” Luther, 87, Vicksburg, passed away unexpectedly January 28. She was born to the late Melba Mueller Hoger and Elmer “Mac” Hoger on August 27, 1931. Margie spent her early years on Throop Street in Chicago. Margie married in 1960 and divorced after 14 years. After that, she lived and worked independently in Brookfield, Ill. She retired from Allied Products as assistant to the president in 1997. Margie inherited her parents’ lakeside home in Vicksburg, a place familiar from her childhood. The home was built on Indian Lake in 1911 by her maternal grandfather, Charles Mueller. It was a family summer cottage and has remained in the family for over a century. Margie had it renovated and retired there in 1998. Margie is survived by her first cousins, Dorothy Brown of Midlothian, Ill., Warren Hoger of Wheaton, Ill.; Chuck Hoger of Anaheim, Calif.; and Patti Pigney of Palm City, Fla.; other family members (especially Beth Hoger, and Patti and Pete Koelle), kind neighbors (especially Jon and Kitty Kachniewicz), and her church family (especially her Bible study group and Pastor Joan). Donations may go to Lord of Life Lutheran Church or South County Community Services. Margie’s life will be remembered on March 26 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Margie’s remains will be interred at a later date at Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Ill. Arrangements by Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home.

Robert E. Smith, 67, Vicksburg, passed away Feb. 3. He was born to Sidney and Dawn (Horning) Smith on July 15, 1951, the oldest of seven children. He graduated from Comstock High School in 1969 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for 12 years. Bob loved selling his pumpkins at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market. He later learned to make and sell delicious homemade jams and maple syrup. Bob had a knack for making others feel special. He was a former president of the Vicksburg Historical Society, a member of the Farmers’ Market Board, and helped with the advertising of the South County News when it was first starting out. He was especially proud of his involvement with the Harvest Festival. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; a son, Brandon Smith, of Vicksburg; and a stepson, Johnathan Donlin, of Kalamazoo. Visit Bob’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to Generous Hands.

Rutkoskie Appointed to School Board

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President of the Schoolcraft School Board Jennifer Gotttschalk administers the oath of office to Wade Rutkoskie who was selected to take the seat vacated by Darby Fetzer on the board.

By Travis Smola

The Schoolcraft school board appointed Wade Rutkoskie to fill the board vacancy opened by the resignation of former board President Darby Fetzer last month.

The board interviewed two other candidates, Michael Wilson and Dr. Lloyd Peterson for the position. The three candidates were interviewed for about 10 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled board meeting. Each answered the same series of seven questions and board members scored the candidates answers on a rubric.

The questions varied. One asked about the relationship the board and district should have with their stakeholders. Another asked about the challenges facing education in Michigan, both at the local and state level. The board also questioned the candidates what they believed were their strongest personal traits that would make them ideal for the position. “I don’t like to lose, that is something that has driven me my entire life,” Rutkoskie told the board. Prior to filling the vacancy, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for election to the board last November.

At the conclusion of the three interviews, Rutkoskie had tallied the highest score and was sworn in to fill the vacancy.

Rutkoskie is a 1990 graduate of the district and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WMU. Currently he works as the Senior Member of Business Integration at Tekna. His wife works at Stryker. Their son currently attends the middle school.

He has also been involved with the district already as president of the Athletic Boosters, an advisor for Junior Achievement and as a coach for Rocket football and Little League. More recently he has also been involved with the facilities planning committee looking into options for the district’s aging elementary and middle school facilities. He said the facilities are one of the biggest challenges the district is currently facing. “Assessing is one thing, making a long-term plan is another,” Rutkoskie told the board members during the interview.

He also said he’s talked to some parents who are upset in the belief that out-of-district students attending Schoolcraft schools through the school of choice program don’t pay property taxes to the district. All Michigan property owners pay school taxes to the state. The state pays foundation grants to districts based on the number of students enrolled, whether or not they live in the district. Rutkoskie said that communicating that will be a big goal during his term.

“My goals as part of the board are to be a conduit from the folks that are accustomed to the inner workings of the board and understanding what they do,” Rutkoskie said after the meeting. “I appreciate the trust that they put in me in appointing me to the board.”

“I want to say thanks to everyone who came out and threw their hat in the ring,” Board President Jennifer Gottschalk said. She also extended invitations to both Peterson and Wilson to become a part of the ongoing facilities study committee.

Schoolcraft Schools Host State Department of Education

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Two representatives of the Michigan Department of Education (in the center of the picture) were in Schoolcraft to gain an understanding of how project-based learning is being taught. Speaking to them on the left is Matt McCullough who is in charge of innovation for Schoolcraft and on the right is Matt Webster, principal of Schoolcraft elementary school.

By Sue Moore

A common image of public education: classrooms of students seated at desks, all learning the same information from a teacher; finishing a semester having learned the material well, mostly well, or not very well, continuing until high school graduation, or dropout.

Competency-based education, being promoted by Michigan’s Department of Education, challenges that image. The challenge pushes project-based learning, often in a group, each student learning at the student’s own pace. And not always in a classroom. And more likely to keep learning until their competent.

The state has pushed this mode in recent years, and in 2017 pushed it further with grants totaling $500,000 to several school districts in the state. Schoolcraft was one, with a grant of $60,841.

Last month, state officials met with those districts in Schoolcraft for an update on uses, successes and failures of the grants. Two others, Tecumseh and Kenowa Hills, attended in person. Other districts were present electronically.

Under Matt McCullough, Schoolcraft’s director of innovation in teaching and learning, students have been engaged with project-based learning: Classrooms district-wide have been working with businesses and nonprofit organizations in the area. The goal is to solve an identified problem through team research and reporting recommendations that are worth putting to use.

The school district was already in the process of installing this kind of learning opportunity when the call went out to districts around the state to try competency-based learning. It was one of the recommendations in former Gov. Rick Snyder’s effort to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

Schoolcraft administrators and teachers went to work on several fronts to put the grant to work. McCullough was instrumental in contacting businesses such as Walther Farms, Chem Link, Concept Molds, The Dome and South County News. They have hosted students who have learned about their businesses, addressed an identified problem and tried to solve it with a project that involved real world experiences.

At the same time, High School Principal Ric Seager convened his teaching staff to consider reinstating courses scrapped from the school’s offerings. That led to the unbalanced trimester plan currently in place, with two 75 day terms and a May through mid-June 30 day mini-term. It offers over 55 course choices for students with an opportunity for credit recovery to enable a student to graduate on-time, Seager explained.

It will give students an opportunity to take less traditional courses in the 30-day period such as 21st century wars, aeronautics and aviation, creative writing, forensic science, algebra recovery, ceramics, food chemistry – and Costa Rican customs for two classes planning a trip to that country next year.

After two years of study and final recommendations from the teachers, Seager had 100 percent support by the time the trimester plan was proposed to the Board of Education. The Board approved it wholeheartedly.

Cursive in the Curriculum

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Schoolcraft seventh graders work on their newspaper project in Karin Lynch’s class. She is the photographer.

By Schoolcraft 7th graders Mia Mulder, Allison Centilla, Caleb Goldschmeding, and Daniel Standish (Editor, Writer, Photographer, and Interviewer)

Do you write in cursive? If so, this is the article for you.

Cursive is only learned for two years in elementary school, but why?

Matt Webster, principal of Schoolcraft Elementary School, told us that kids and adults have many more tools for communication at their disposal today than ever before.

Long ago, outside of verbally communicating with others, a penned or typed letter were among your only other options. Today, students are creating websites, writing blogs, developing podcasts or even hosting “hangouts” that allow them to talk to and see one another virtually.

What is true with technology advancing and becoming more and more accessible is that writing your words out on paper isn’t a student’s only option nowadays. Students at Schoolcraft Elementary still learn cursive in 3rd grade and practice it each week throughout 4th-grade but are not directly taught that skill in other grades.

“Cursive writing expectations of the past have given way to keyboarding expectations on the educational technology tools of the 21st Century,” according to David Powers, Schoolcraft Middle School Principal. “Although students are introduced to cursive in elementary school, the fact remains that middle and high students are not mandated to produce handwritten essays, and our graduates are thriving in this new age of technology.”

When asked why we only learn it for such a short period of time, Mr. Webster said, “You might learn a standard until you’ve mastered it and then you move on to other standards. We teach you how to communicate in multiple ways in elementary school, including cursive, and then it changes in middle school.”

Many people bring up the issue that we need cursive to sign checks and other important documents, like buying a home or a car.

Most children know how to write their name in cursive, but they also need to know how to read it.

Mrs. Kathy Descheneau, a former teacher of Schoolcraft Elementary, is worried about how. “It’s unfortunate that, in my way of looking at it, the day is going to come when people won’t be able to read primary source documents from the past.”

If you think about it, in the future of cursive could be a secret language because people won’t be able to read it.

According to Mrs. Descheneau cursive is only in the curriculum in 3rd and 4th grade because the curriculum was too full in the other grades. There were already more important things to learn, and they couldn’t fit so much into one whole year.

We asked Mr. Webster if he minded the fact that people think cursive is gone.

He told us, “Cursive is not gone at Schoolcraft. It’s intentionally taught and practiced for two years in a row. All of the educators at Schoolcraft care about what our students learn and we want them to be ready with whatever direction they go in life.”

The problem is, like Mrs. Descheneau said, if a child decides to be a historian, that child may not be able to read important documents from the past. Many children don’t know how to read cursive, and a vast majority don’t know how to write in it. This is not just a community problem, this is a worldwide problem.

With this being said, should cursive be taught more than just in 3rd and 4th grade? Other things to consider are should our middle school teachers expect us to use cursive more?
Better yet, should we the students push ourselves to use it more often than we do? Think about that.

So, I’ll leave it up to you. Do you, the person reading this, think cursive is worth investing in?