Originally Published on OpEdNews
National Handwriting Day falls each year on January 23, the birthday of the American Revolutionary leader and first signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, John Hancock. Opponents of cursive instruction argue it is no longer relevant and classroom instruction is better devoted to other subjects, including digital proficiency. But research shows that teaching handwriting skills benefit cognitive d ...
Originally Published on OpEdNews
National Handwriting Day falls each year on January 23, the birthday of the American Revolutionary leader and first signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, John Hancock. Opponents of cursive instruction argue it is no longer relevant and classroom instruction is better devoted to other subjects, including digital proficiency. But research shows that teaching handwriting skills benefit cognitive development and motor skills, and can lead to improved writing skills and reading comprehension. In other words, children not only learn to read faster when they learn to write by hand first, but research suggests they are also better at generating ideas and retaining information than children who do not practice handwriting.
Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years.
She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had been a student of Norman Rockwell.
Her art in a wide variety of media can be seen on her YouTube video, "Visionary Artist Meryl Ann Butler on Creativity and Joy" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGs2r_66QE
A NYC native, her response to 9-11 was to pen an invitation to healing through creativity, entitled, "90-Minute Quilts: 15+ Projects You Can Stitch in an Afternoon" (Krause 2006), which is a bestseller in the craft field. The sequel, MORE 90-Minute Quilts: 20+ Quick and Easy Projects With Triangles and Squares was released in April, 2011. Her popular video, How to Stitch a Quilt in 90 Minutes with Meryl Ann Butler can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrShGOQaJQ8
She has been active in a number of international, arts-related projects as a citizen diplomat, and was arts advisor to Baltimore's CIUSSR (Center for Improving US-Soviet Relations), 1987-89. She made two trips to the former USSR in 1987 and 1988 to speak to artists, craftpeople and fashion designers on the topic of utilizing the arts as a tool for global wellbeing. She created the historical "First US-Soviet Children's Peace Quilt Exchange Project" in 1987-88, which was the first time a reciprocal quilt was given to the US from the former USSR.
Her artwork is in collections across the globe.
Meryl Ann is a founding member of The Labyrinth Society and has been building labyrinths since 1992.
"Creativity and Healing: The Work of Meryl Ann Butler" by Burl Hall is at
Burl and Merry Hall interviewed Meryl Ann on their BlogTalk radio show, "Envision This," at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/envision-this/2013/04/11/meryl-ann-butler-art-as-a-medicine-for-the-soul
She has written for Opednews since 2004. Archived articles www.opednews.com/author/author1820.html
Older archived articles, from before May 2005 are here.,