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Girl With No Hands Wins Penmanship Award

Despite being born with no hands, Annie Clark is a pretty normal kid. She dresses herself, drinks soda from a can she opens, types on her computer and hopes to one day write a book about animals. Oh, and the seven-year-old just won a trophy and $1,000 in a national penmanship competition.

Granted, only students with disabilities are eligible for the Nicholas Maxim Award, which is presented by textbook company Zaner-Bloser Inc. But here’s the kicker: Clark only came to the attention of Zaner-Bloser because she had won a penmanship prize among all the students at her elementary school.

Annie was adopted from China by her parents, Tom and Mary Ellen Clark. There are nine kids in the Clark household, three biological and six adopted — four of whom have disabilities.

But this week the focus is on Annie. ”She’s an amazing little girl,” said Tom Clark, 49. “It’s a shame because society places so many rules on how people should look, but the minds of these kids are phenomenal.”

Next time you have an obstacle to overcome think of Annie, and realize just about anything is possible.

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