East Elementary students gathered to congratulate fourth grader Sophie Halverson. Sophie is one of only eight Grand National Champions in the annual Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Contest.
"I was really surprised," said Sophie Halverson.
Sophie was in competition with about 325,000 first through eighth grade students from across the country.
"I'm proud to be her teacher," said Thea Thies.
Typically, fourth graders at East Elementary in Waukon enter the handwriting contest. This is Sophie's entry. The students must follow the form provided by Zaner-Bloser.
It includes the student's name, copying a sentence and answering a question. The writing must be done in cursive. The students get judged on slant, spacing, size and shape.
"I just had to really concentrate and go slowly," said Halverson.
While East Elementary has had one of 16 national winners before, Sophie Halverson is the first ever Grand National Champion.
"I think it's really great," she said.
Teacher Thea Thies even with the growing use of technology and computers, it's still important for students to be able to write and read cursive.
"If you don't use it, you lose it," said Thies.
She points out many of our national, historical documents are written in cursive.
Thies hopes Sophie's recognition demonstrates to other students the importance of handwriting and keeping it from being a lost art in this age of technology.