• ‘Excited and proud': Girl born without hands wins national handwriting competition

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


    FREDERICK, Md. - A 10-year-old Maryland girl who was born without hands has won a national handwriting competition.

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    Sara Hinesley’s cursive handwriting sample earned the Nicholas Maxim Award in the 2019 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. Students with a cognitive delay or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability are eligible for the award, media outlets reported. Occupational therapists judged this year’s entries.

    "I felt excited and proud," Sara recently told "Good Morning America" about earning the award.

    Sara was born with no hands, so she figured out her own method of writing: by gripping a pencil or pen with both of her arms, WTNH-TV reported.

    The third grader was born in China and was adopted by the Hinesley family four years ago. When she arrived in the United States, she could only speak and write Mandarin, her mother, Cathryn Hinesley, told WTNH.

    The girl quickly picked up English after arriving.

    "Sara is very motivated and a disciplined student," Cathryn Hinesley said. "She excels really at about anything she tries.”

    Sara will formally receive the award on June 13, the last day of school. She’ll receive a trophy, $500 cash and $500 for her school, St. John’s Regional Catholic School in Frederick.

    Last year’s honor also went to a student without hands: 9-year-old Anaya Ellick of Chesapeake, Virginia, according to previous Cox Media Group reports.

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