10-year-old girl with no hands wins national handwriting contest

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FREDERICK, Md. – A 10-year-old Maryland girl born without hands has won a national handwriting contest.

"I just try my hardest and put my mind to it and this is what happens!" said Sara Hinesley, who was recently awarded the Nicholas Maxim Award in the 2019 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

Sara learned to read and write in her kindergarten class at St. Clare/St. Paul School in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "I thought it was easy, and I practiced at school," Sara said.

This year's kindergarten class is currently learning about disabilities.

"Especially in a Catholic school, we try to teach them that Jesus made everybody different, but no matter what the difference is, we can do just about everything. And she's the prime example," said Sara's kindergarten teacher Maripat Burke.

Burke was Sara's teacher when she was a student at St. Clare/St. Paul about four years ago. News of Sara's national award was not a surprise to Burke.

"It was fascinating because, with no hands, we weren't quite sure how we were going to adapt to that, but we didn't have to. She adapted herself," Burke said.

Sara was the kind of student who ended up teaching more than she learned.

"She was an example to everybody in the whole entire school. Everybody thought so highly of that little girl, and we're so proud of her, I'm so proud of her," Burke added.

Sara Hinesley will receive her handwriting trophy in June on her last day of school in Maryland.

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