National Penmanship Prize Awarded To Girl With No Hands

A 7-year-old girl from Pennsylvania is the happy recipient of the Zaner-Bloser language arts and reading company's Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship. That's not saying much until you learn that first-grader Annie Clark was born without hands.

The award, presented by the company to students with "a cognitive delay or intellectual, physical or development disability," was given to Annie after her handwriting sample was sent in to Zaner-Bloser as a regular competition entry, having been selected as the best writing sample among those collected from all first graders at West Mifflin's Wilson Christian Academy.

Her teacher, Linda Messner, sent a note along with Annie's entry informing the judges of her condition, and organizes suggested she enter the special contest, which she proceeded to win.

"Annie has always been very, very determined, very self-sufficient in dressing herself and feeding herself," Annie's father, Tom Clark, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "She can ride a bike. She swims. She is just determined that there's nothing she can't do."

[screengrab via Post-Gazette]