Newport Elementary School students earn nods for play, penmanship
NEWPORT — Newport Elementary School students and teachers cheered loudly during an assembly Thursday afternoon.
“There have been a lot of good things happening, things to celebrate, and I wanted to recognize you kids,” principal Brian Williams said. “We received an Ohio Department of Education High Progress School award, and you guys earned it, the teachers earned it.”
Williams also called about 30 students to the front for accolades for participating in the school play.
“Two and a half weeks ago, we did something we haven’t done in years, we put on a school play,” Williams said. The production of “The Wizard of Oz” was staged on a Sunday afternoon and drew an audience of about 200 people, a tribute to the support of the community, he said.
For the past several years occupational therapist Carol Armann has avidly pushed for handwriting excellence in all six grades and kindergarten at the school, and her efforts have paid off with numerous state-level awards. This year, three students received awards from Zaner-Bloser, Inc., a Columbus-based firm that markets classroom support programs and supplies, including handwriting curriculum materials.
Williams announced the three winners for this year: kindergarten student Katelyn Morris, fifth-grader Anna Bowersock and sixth-grader Kaylynn Lauer, who is a repeat winner — she also earned an award as a fifth grader. The students received a medallion, the teachers got an engraved glass award and the school received three $100 gift certificates for Zaner-Bloser products.
In support of handwriting, Armann said that it has wide-ranging benefit for students, including development of reading comprehension in a manner that keyboarding doesn’t encourage.
Kaylynn Lauer, a two-time winner, said penmanship has been a strong focus for her.
“It’s extraordinarily important to me, it’s a gold mine, really,” she said. “I handwrite stories and journals, and people take you more seriously if you have good handwriting. It’s beautiful.”
Lauer said she has a calligraphy set.
Katelyn Morris, the kindergarten winner, said it’s work getting to good handwriting.
“I practice a lot,” she said.