Handwriting is an essential skill. Even in the modern era of laptop computers and cellphones, many people still need to convey their thoughts on paper. For one young lady, this seemingly imperative task was made all the harder. She has no hands. And yet she not only learned longhand, she even won two awards in the process.
A Special Young Lady
Anaya Ellick lives in Virginia with the rest of her family. Like kids her own age, she loves to play outside and have fun with everyone around her. Unlike many of her peers, however, she faces a unique challenge in her life. She was born without hands. Being born without hands might have daunted other people. Not Miss Anaya Ellick. She’s been ready for anything life can throw at her.
When it came time to decide where to go to school, there were many possibilities. After a lot of thought, Ellick and her mom settled on Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake. This proved to be an inspired choice. Here, she’s learned a lot and started on her path to adulthood. Along the way, she’s found some exceptional help from those who really care about student development.
It was the principal of Greenbrier Christian Academy who helped Anaya Ellick realize what she could accomplish if she set her mind. School principal Tracy Cox realized there was so much this young lady could do with a little encouragement. With that in mind, she set about showing the girl how to unleash her own innate potential. She helped change the young lady’s outlook on life, making her parents proud and proving you don’t need hands to create amazing accomplishments.
Entering a Competition
Each year, the Zaner-Bloser company holds a national handwriting contest. The purpose of the competition is to remind students of the importance of penmanship. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade have the chance to show off their handwriting. In doing so, they and their teachers remind everyone of the outstanding importance of literacy.
Every single student in every elementary school across the country has the chance to participate. Students begin by competing for the right to represent their grade and then their school. All students can submit an example of their hard work.
A Special Category
In addition to the standard category, the company created an exceptional category. The Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Penmanship is named for a young man who was participated in previous contests. He was devoted to the subject even in the face of obstacles in his own path.
In recognition of his achievements, the company created an entire category for students who also have similar special needs. This category is judged by experts in the field of handwriting and those who work directly with this population. Occupational therapists know how hard their students work to master tasks others may do with ease.
It was this particular national category that Anaya was chosen to be part of by her school principal. She knew Anaya’s penmanship was excellent despite her handicaps.
Competition director Kathleen Wright was incredibly impressed by the second she saw this entry of the young lady. She compared the sample to the kind of work students can do when they have hands.
Like so many others who have worked closely with Anaya, they were extremely delighted with her work. Her penmanship is neat and clean. Each letter has been formed well under the required principles of penmanship.
Just Like Her Peers
Anaya is delighted she can do just as well as her peers. The principal praises her work effort, attitude, and ability to overcome challenges. She calls her independent and vivacious. These are just the qualities that the program directors are looking for when it comes to the entrants they see. They’re also the kind of qualities they want to reward. It is no surprise they have found them in Anaya. While some students who have a similar disability may choose to use a prosthesis, not for Anaya. She is determined to write with her forearms.
The result is one young lady who is likely to go far in life. In winning two national handwriting awards, Anaya Ellick has demonstrated something wonderful. She has shown that the human spirit can persist even in the face of terrible obstacles. She showed that all children can learn, master subjects, and come out with a smile on their face as they win national awards. It is no wonder that her school principal, parents, teachers, and everyone in her class can take great pride along with her.