A first-grader girl from Pennsylvania who doesn’t have hands has won a penmanship competition.
On Wednesday, Annie Clark, 7, became the first recipient of the Nicholas Maxim Award, a prize from educational publisher Zaner-Bloser Inc. that recognises disabled students with exceptional handwriting.
Annie, who writes by wedging a pencil between her two arms, accepted the award that include a trophy and $1,000 case prize from the basketball court at Wilson Christian Academy, People Magazine reported.
Students and faculty cheered her as she received the award wearing all yellow in honour of the school’s colours.
“Annie has always been very, very determined, very self-sufficient in dressing herself and feeding herself,” her dad Tom told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“She can ride a bike. She swims. She is just determined that there’s nothing she can’t do,” he added.
Born to a family of nine children, Annie is a sister to five other siblings adopted from China.
Most of Annie’s siblings — including children born biologically to her parents — also have disabilities.
In an era where some schools are abandoning handwriting programmes in lieu of keyboarding and other modes of technological communication, Wilson Christian Academy puts special emphasis on penmanship and good handwriting, school officials said.
“I think about doing words and spelling,” she explained, adding that she has “learned to go slow”.
The Clarks said while others might consider their family a burden, they consider their children to be blessings.