Pennsylvania girl born without hands wins penmanship award

A Pittsburgh-area girl who was born without hands has won a penmanship award — and $1,000 — from a company that publishes language arts and reading textbooks.

Zaner-Bloser Inc. recognized 7-year-old Annie Clark at Wilson Christian Academy in West Mifflin on Wednesday.

After the ceremony, Clark demonstrated her ability to write by manipulating a pencil between her forearms.

The girl's parents, Tom and Mary Ellen Clark, have nine children — three biological and six adopted from China, including Annie. They say the girl uses a similar method to feed and dress herself and to paint her toenails.

Clark is the first winner of an award named for Nicholas Maxim. Nicholas was a Maine fifth-grader born without hands or lower arms who entered the company's penmanship contest last year.