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      Cursive not obsolete in the digital age

      Third graders at Sandy Knoll Elementary in Marquette carefully loop their Os and tail their Ys about three to four times per week. Connecting letters one-by-one means more than meets the eye, experts said.

      "The connections that our cursive letters have, not having to lift our pencil each and every time like when we do when we print, makes cursive writing faster," said Occupational Therapist Paula Heinricher.

      But some of our Facebook viewers think the art of cursive writing is dwindling down. Lisa Sutinen wrote, "These days in the computer age, I really don't think it's necessary."

      "I just got a calling and texting app on my iPod," said third grader Senia Manson.

      But in Ms. Usitalo's classroom, cursive isn't taking a backseat to the digital world.

      "The flow of cursive takes a lot of practice for students to be accurate with it, but once they get it, we have a lot of students that can write neater," said third grade teacher Nancy Usitalo.

      The style creates more discipline and patience, and teachers say it helps develop basic motor skills. Demand from the state to fit more into a curriculum leaves less time to grasp it.

      "There's so much we have to get in that we find that there's not a lot of room for teaching cursive writing," Heinricher said.

      And those squiggles aren't going away anytime soon. Teachers say cursive is still very much around us.

      "If we deal with some historical documents, many of those types of things are in cursive," Usitalo said.

      One thing they say is that we should never print or type our very own signature.