BIC, a champion in encouraging students to develop a love for handwriting for over 70 years, celebrated the conclusion of its second My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen initiative with an event at the Kariobangi Primary School in Kenya. The creative writing program helps students improve their handwriting skills and transition from graphite pencils to ballpoint pens as they start a new school year. My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen was created in response to a finding that poor handwriting often attracts a negative stigma, which can affect a child’s growth and development in the writing space.
This year’s celebration marked the successful completion of a 26-day course in 35 Kenyan primary schools, with over 12,000 students and teachers taking part. Participating students wrote a creative story using BIC pens to become more comfortable with the feel and movement of a ballpoint. Students then presented their stories to their teachers, parents, and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in Kenya. To commemorate the program, students received a special BIC Pen License presented to them by their teachers.
Commenting on the occasion, Paloma Lengema, Marketing Manager at BIC, said: “We are committed to improving learning conditions of more than 250 million children by 2025, and have placed the handwriting challenge high on our agenda due to the impact it has on a child’s
development process. Since the launch of My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen, we have reached close to 25,000 Kenyan students, and are confident that this initiative will help us support and empower thousands more in the future.”
Beyond My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen, BIC East Africa also trains teachers on how to support students during this important transition period and provides them with the necessary writing materials and assets required to run the course.
Praising the partnership with BIC, the Head Teacher of Kariobangi Primary School, Ms. Pamella Mang'oli explained that “handwriting is very important even during exams we have compositions, and this will help both our teachers and our students to do better.
As a public school, this initiative strengthens us and our students as we continue to compete with private schools in the area”.
Sabrina Muthoni, a ten-year-old, class 4 student who participated in the handwriting course expressed her happiness as she received her BIC pen license “I had fun participating in this special course, my handwriting was quite neat even before, but now I think it is so much better”.
Abigail Kerubu, also aged ten and in class 4 said “my handwriting has improved so much during our training. We practiced and practiced, and I am happy to say that now that my handwriting is better I am ready to use a pen”.
“Before the handwriting course, my writing wasn’t very neat because I write very fast. As we were writing our stories during the training, they told us to take our time and I found I can write very nicely” shared 11-year-old Mark Adrian from class 5.
Ian Mwangi, age 10 from class 5 said “I had so much fun writing my stories and reading them to my friends, and of course I had no problem reading my own handwriting which is now so nice and neat, I am very proud of what I have achieved”.
Teresea Muthoni Mungai, who introduced herself as Mama Victor, a parent of one of the students who took part in the handwriting course said “from the moment this initiative began my son was so excited to write his stories and work on his handwriting. He was proud of his achievement and that is a great feeling for any parent”.
‘My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen’ is in its second year. To date, the initiative has reached close to 25,000 students across Kenya.