Leading stationery manufacturer BIC commemorated the end of its second “My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen” initiative with a ceremony held at Kariobangi Primary School in Nairobi.

BIC says the creative writing program assists students improve on their skills in handwriting and switch from graphite pencils to ballpoint pens as they commence a new school year.

The ballpoint pen maker says “My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen” responded to a finding that poor handwriting often results in stigma, which can affect a child’s development.

This year’s event marked the successful completion of a 26-day course conducted in 35 primary schools across Kenya and involved more than 12,000 students and teachers.

Students were asked to write a creative story using BIC pens to familiarize with the feel and movement of a ballpoint then presented them to their teachers, parents, and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

In commemoration of the creative program, each student received a special BIC Pen License, which was presented to them by their teachers.

“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," said Paloma Lengema, Marketing Manager at BIC.

"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,” added Lengema.

BIC East Africa said it also trains teachers on how to assist students during the transition period and avail to them the necessary writing material and assets needed for the course.

“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,” said Pamella Mang'oli, Head Teacher, Kariobangi Primary School.

10-year-old Sabrina Muthoni, who is in Class 4, expressed her excitement at taking part in the BIC handwriting course and receiving 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,” Muthoni said.

10-year-old Ian Mwangi, also aged 10 and in 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.”

The “My Words, My Story, My BIC Pen” initiative, which is in its second year, has so far reached close to 25,000 students across Kenya, according to the BIC.