About the P.E.N.S. Program

The P.E.N.S. program is an innovative program that aims to preserve, teach, and nurture the use of cursive writing in elementary schools in Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.

Over the course of 18 one-hour lessons, Grade 3 students and their teachers are given instruction in both cursive writing and lettering arts from an experienced calligraphic artist. The P.E.N.S. program is supported by the ECS and the Edmonton Arts Council.

Rationale for the P.E.N.S. Program

Recently, mandatory cursive writing instruction was removed from the curriculum in Edmonton Public Schools.

The P.E.N.S. program is designed to fill the gap in the education curriculum, to equip students with cursive and lettering arts skills that may be advantageous to them both personally and professionally over the course of their lives. Indeed, the benefits of a working knowledge of cursive writing and lettering arts are many!

Current MRI-based medical research shows that handwriting engages more quadrants of the brain than typing, and that brain engagement is even greater when one is creating new scripts.

Professionally, there is an increasing demand for and interest in penmanship and lettering arts, both in hobbyist and corporate settings.

The P.E.N.S. Program Curriculum

The P.E.N.S. program follows the Getty-Dubay curriculum – a long-standing and successful program using the Italic handwriting model. Below is a brief example of some of the curriculum.

The Italic model reduces the number of strokes necessary to create a letterform, and minimizes the number of shape changes and loops required to create uppercase letters. The Italic model, then, is easier for students to learn, and creates a form of cursive that is more legible and easier to read and write. This curriculum is continually being refined to improve programming for students.

Support the P.E.N.S. Program

Interested in supporting the P.E.N.S. program (donating supplies, exhibition space or funding; hiring calligraphers to deliver the program at your school; providing table space at your next event to allow us to promote the P.E.N.S. program; etc.)? We would love to hear from you! Get in touch with Jeanine at jeanine.t.alexander@gmail.com.

Bring the P.E.N.S. Program to Your School

Want to learn more about bringing the P.E.N.S. program to your school? Contact Jeanine at jeanine.t.alexander@gmail.com.