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Anaya Ellick: 1st-Grader Born Without Hands, Wins Penmanship Award

Although she does not have hands, 7-year-old Anaya Ellick has won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship. She was born without hands and stopped using prosthetics because she felt they slowed her down.

Anaya is a first grader at Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake, VA and has some of the neatest handwriting in her class. She bested some 300,000 other grade school students to win the penmanship award. The award is for a student who has a cognitive delay, or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability.

Anaya holds her pencil between her tapered wrist and stands while writing so she can have the perfect angle on her paper. Anaya’s teacher, Joan Stalnaker said “it was the first time that I have ever had a student like this, but I was very shocked at everything she can do, from cutting to gluing to writing.”

“Anaya is a remarkable young lady. She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do,” GCA Principal Tracy Cox said. “She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class.”

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