Handless first grader wins national handwriting competition

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Seven-year-old girl born without hands wins handwriting competition (KTRK)

Seven-year-old Anaya Ellick was born without hands. She doesn't use prosthetics and writes by holding the pencil between her arms.

"There is truly very little that this girl cannot do," principal Tracy Cox of Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake told ABC News, noting it was her idea to have Anaya enter the competition, which is open to students in kindergarten to eighth grade.

Anaya's penmanship was submitted in the category that encourages the participation of students with cognitive delays, or intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities. This category is judged by a team of occupational therapists, and the winner is awarded the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Penmanship.

Anaya has such good handwriting, she beat out 50 other children from around the country to win.

"We looked at her writing and were just stunned to see how well her handwriting was, considering she writes without hands," competition director Kathleen Wright told ABC News. "Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands."

Cox said, "She truly has some of the neatest hardworking in her class."

Anaya's peers treat her no differently than other students, and she keeps up with them, Greenbrier founder and superintendent Ron H. White told ABC News.

"I don't think Anaya thinks of it as an obstacle," he said.
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