First grader wins handwriting award - with no hands

April 24, 2012

It's not every day that someone wins a contest without the most valuable part to winning the contest.

That is exactly what first grader Annie Clark did by winning a handwriting excellence award without hands. She manages to write by wedging the pencil in between her forearms.

Her parents Tom and Mary Ellen Clark said she dresses herself, paints her toenails, and rides a bike.

"She can ride a bike. She swims. She is just determined that there’s nothing she can’t do," Mr. Clark tells reporters.

Annie was born in China with no hands. One of the best parts of this story is what her parents did for her and others like her.

She was adopted by the Clarks, who have also adopted two other disabled Chinese children, both with missing parts of their forearms. They also adopted Alyssa, who was born with down syndrome, and Amelia, who has an undiagnosed lesion on her leg.

The Clarks take joy in making the lives of children born with a disadvantage and giving them an opportunity to excel and live a happy meaningful life.

annie clarke
Larry Roberts/ Post-Gazette

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