As an educator, parent, or concerned citizen, there are many ways to get involved in the growing dialogue about the importance of handwriting instruction.
Join the HW21 Community to receive alerts when new resources are added to the website. Simply enter your first name, last name, and email address in the form at right.
Write a letter to your governmental representative, school official, or newspaper. Here are some tips and ideas:
- Educators — Locate your state’s Chief School Officer (here) and write him or her a letter voicing your opinion. You may personalize this sample of an educator’s letter or use it for inspiration to write one of your own. If you're writing to a local newspaper, be sure to write your own letter and follow the tips below.
- Parents — You may personalize this sample of a parent’s letter or use it for inspiration to write one of your own to your local school board or school official. If you're writing to a local newspaper, be sure to write your own letter and follow the tips below.
- Everyone — An important way to support handwriting instruction is to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If you live in a suburban community, you can write to both your local daily newspaper and your suburban weekly paper.
Tips for How to Write a Letter to the Editor
- Read the directions. Go to the newspaper’s website or look on the page that contains the letters to the editor to see the specific directions for sending a letter to the editor to that paper. It may give you a maximum word count and directions for sending the letter.
- Be concise and calm. Your letter should not be more than 200 words and three paragraphs. Even so, the editors reserve the right to edit your letter to make it briefer without changing your position. You should be respectful and professional in your letter, avoiding name-calling, use of exclamation marks and excessively emotional language.
- Stay focused. If you are responding to an article, mention the name of the article in the first sentence of your letter. (You should respond to any article within a few days or your letter will not be used.) Your first paragraph should state your support of handwriting instruction. Your second paragraph can include facts or a brief statement of why you think this is important. Your third paragraph should sum up your position.
- Include your contact information. When you send a letter to the editor, you must include your name, home address and daytime phone number. Typically, a newspaper editor will call you to confirm that you sent the letter. You can ask the paper not to publish your name, but this may cause them not to publish the letter.
- Proofread. Make sure you do not have grammatical mistakes or typos in the letter.
- Submit the letter through the newspaper's website, if possible. You can check the printed newspaper as well as the website to see if you are published. Many papers are now putting most letters to the editor on the website.