COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 7, 2014) – Beginning this week, 18 students across the United States will learn that attention to detail and hard work paid off. Zaner-Bloser is proud to announce the National Grade-Level Semifinalists and Grand National Grade-Level Champions in the 2014 National Handwriting Contest.

Out of a national pool of more than 300,000 entries, 18 students from across the country emerged for their handwriting excellence, representing both private and public schools. Nine of those students now hold the Grand National Grade-Level Champion title, representing their grade level for the very best in handwriting.

Public and private schools first held their own handwriting contests, both manuscript and cursive, and entered each winning student, grades K–8, into the national contest. Students then advanced to become State Winners in their grade. These State Winners then competed against each other to become the public school and private school National Grade-Level Semifinalists. The 18 National Grade-Level Semifinalists then competed to become one of nine Grand National Grade-Level Champions. Judges based all contest entries on the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: Size, Shape, Spacing, and Slant.

Grand National Grade-Level Champions are listed below.
• Grade K: Mehrangiz Ahtomova, PS 192 The Magnet School for Math and Science Inquiry, Brooklyn, NY
• Grade 1: Alina Cotlet, East Elementary School, Dover, OH
• Grade 2: Zachary John Sutter, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Atlanta, GA
• Grade 3: Anna Grace Likes, Kirk Day School, Saint Louis, MO
• Grade 4: Mollie Grace Strong, Homestead Elementary School, Crossville, TN
• Grade 5: Michelle Petrangeli, Our Lady of Grace School, Greensboro, NC
• Grade 6: Alex Goebel, Rolling Hills Elementary School, Mukwonago, WI
• Grade 7: Grace Beehler, Corpus Christi School, South Bend, IN
• Grade 8: Rachel Litwack, Holy Family Catholic School, Orlando, FL

National Grade-Level Semifinalists are listed below.
• Grade K: Benjamin Vu, St. Edward the Confessor School, Metairie, LA
• Grade 1: Jimmy Adolphson, Holy Infant School, Ballwin, MO
• Grade 2: Lilian Searlait Bligh, Ralph Wheelock School, Medfield, MA
• Grade 3: Mary Sulo, Elmwood Elementary School, Elmwood Park, IL
• Grade 4: Antonio Harris, St. Brendan School, North Olmsted, OH
• Grade 5: Emily Anna Cooper, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon, WI
• Grade 6: Natasha Badguijar, Cherry Hill Elementary School, River Edge, NJ
• Grade 7: Karen Mimbrera, Aurora Charter School, Minneapolis, MN
• Grade 8: Student name withheld, Northwest Rankin Middle School, Brandon, MS

Each year, Zaner-Bloser also presents the Nicholas Maxim Award to two special needs students for their handwriting mastery. The 2014 Nicholas Maxim National Manuscript Champion is Maryam Al-Saidi, a fifth grade student from Cunningham Elementary School in Houston, TX. The Nicholas Maxim National Cursive Champion is Daniel Shi, a third grade student from The SEEALL Academy in Brooklyn, NY.
“We’re thrilled about this opportunity to honor students who put their hard work and dedication into handwriting and to recognize the educators who teach this foundational skill,” said Bob Page, president of Zaner-Bloser. “This year’s contest is particularly exciting because we’ve added a kindergarten category, which allows us to highlight the importance of learning this skill at an early age for literacy development.”
Zaner-Bloser estimates that approximately 3.6 million students have participated in the contest throughout its 23-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 Reading Association (IRA) Annual Conference in New Orleans (beginning on May 9, 2014). During each year’s contest, Zaner-Bloser awards more than $100,000 in cash and prizes to the winning students, their teachers, and schools.

About Zaner-Bloser
Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children celebrating 125 years of experience in education this year, is an educational curricula and digital resources provider in language arts/literacy, 21st century learning, and social-emotional learning. Zaner-Bloser provides flexible solutions and services that improve results and inspire students to become lifelong learners and is committed to meeting schools’ needs today—and in the future.
Media Contacts
Celina Fabrizio
Tia Piacquadio

About the Author: