By all accounts, Annie Clark, 7, a first-grader at Wilson Christian Academy in West Mifflin, is a hard-working and determined student who makes a point of learning from her mistakes and strives for perfection in her work.
So on the surface, it should come as no surprise that she won a national handwriting award from the Zaner-Bloser language arts and reading company. That is, of course, if you didn't know that she was born with no hands.
On Wednesday, Annie received one of two national handwriting awards the Zaner-Bloser firm offered for the first time this year to disabled students. The other went to a student in Eastlake, Ohio, who has a visual impairment.USA Today has a video of Annie writing.
Her parents certainly sound like they're prolife.
Annie's can-do attitude may come from her family of eight siblings. The Clarks have three biological children, Amanda, 29, Amy, 25 and Abbey, 21. Abbey was born with Down syndrome, and the Clarks said their experiences with her opened their eyes to the world of disabled children. "I feel like God used that to teach us the value of every human being," Mrs. Clark said. Devout Christians, the Clarks started to adopt disabled Chinese children. In addition to Annie, the Clarks adopted sons Travis and Talbot, 10, and Tyler, 18, all of whom are missing parts of their right forearm. They also have two other adopted daughters, Alyssa, 18, who also has Down syndrome, and Amelia, 4, who has an undiagnosed lesion on her leg. The Clarks said while others might consider their family a burden, they consider their children to be blessings.