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 r esearch 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.