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Rocky Mount School Produces Prized Pupil of Penmanship

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ROCKY MOUNT — A private school in Rocky Mount is churning out first-graders with some of the best handwriting in the state.

Alex Kurpinsky can be called the prince of proper penmanship. He knows when it looks right.

"I would proofread it. That means you check over it," Kurpinsky says.

This is the third year in a row that a student fromRocky Mount Academyhas taken the best-in-the-state award for first grade.

"We try to make it as much fun as possible and that appeals to children at this age, especially," says teacher Ann Cobb. "Once they learn to listen and follow directions, it's really quite easy."

Zaner-Bloser Publishing, the educational company that gives out the national penmanship award, says handwriting is important even in this electronic age.

"College applications are requiring students to write in their own handwriting," says Brenda Kirkman of Zaner-Bloser Publishing. "We're always filling out applications, so we need handwriting all the time."

Cobb says the first step to proper penmanship is to have enough spacing for words. She recommends one finger's width between words.

Cobb also says to slow down. Most adult handwriting is scratched out too quickly. She says everyone can improve if they take a little more time and maybe a little more pride in the written word.

You can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting. Here is what handwriting experts say about some famous people: President Bill Clinton
  • The dark strokes signify a great deal of energy and ability to work hard for long periods of time.
  • The ends of words are blunt, which indicates that decisions are easily made.Pop musician Elvis Presley
  • The unsteady baseline and uneven right margin suggest someone who is easily sidetracked.
  • Analysts say he flings energy in a variety of directions with little focus or stress.Convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh
  • His writing has harsh angles, heavy downstrokes and underlining which shows agitation, anger and defensiveness.Mother Teresa
  • Her writing is small with good letter and line spacing. All of which indicate a well-balanced, unassuming individual.
  • She usually crossed her T's very high on the stem, indicating high goals, and sometimes even above the stem, which shows her to have been a visionary.
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