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Domitar Corporation Launches the “PaperPal” Intergenerational Handwriting Project

Posted: May 3, 2016

Domtar Corporation, a provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products announces that it is sponsoring PaperPal, an intergenerational handwriting program.

The PaperPal website provides links to various articles that attest to the benefits of handwriting for different generations. Here are some highlights noted in a Wall Street Journal article:

  • Experts at Indiana University conducted brain scans on pre-literate children to determine whether printing letters, tracing them or typing is the most effective method in the learning process. The children tried each method, and then received a functional MRI scan in a device designed to look like a spaceship. The results? If children wrote by hand, the experts saw neural activity in three areas of the brain that was far more enhanced. These areas get activated in adults when they read and write.
  • A study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience shows how hand-writing can help adults learn new symbols – anything from music notes to Mandarin. Researchers found that if adults wrote the symbols, there was a stronger, longer-lasting recognition.
  • Good handwriting can play a role in classroom performance. It can take a generic classroom test score from the 50th percentile to the 84th percentile, while bad penmanship could tank it to the 16th, said an education professor at Vanderbilt University.
  • Handwriting can be a useful cognitive exercise for baby boomers trying to keep their minds sharp as they grow older, according to a neuroscientist at Duke University.
  • Children in grades two, four and six wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand instead of with a keyboard, according to a study by a University of Washington professor of educational psychology.