A Pennsylvania first-grader who doesn’t have hands won a trophy and $1,000 in 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 recognizes disabled students with exceptional handwriting.
Annie, who writes by wedging a pencil between her two arms, accepted the award from the basketball court at Wilson Christian Academy. She was cheered on by students and faculty as she wore all yellow in honor of the school’s colors.
“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.”
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.
* DAHVI SHIRA, Friday April 20, 2012