Nicholas Maxim, a fifth-grader at Readfield Elementary School in Maine, has won a national penmanship award despite the fact that he was born without hands and only one leg. The winning piece was written in cursive using both of his arms while holding the pencil in between them.
His teachers secretly entered one of his papers into the National Handwriting Contest. The contest is run by textbook publisher Saner-Bloser where there are over 200,000 entries the judges had to look through, and Nick’s penmanship managed to stick out. In fact, they were so impressed with Nick’s creative writing skills that they created a special award for students with disabilities.
Unaware that his paper had been submitted, you can imagine his surprise when he was seated in front of all his classmates only to discover what was actually going on. Sean Reardon of Zaner-Bloser told Nick as more than one hundred classmates along with teachers watched, “The people in Ohio loved your story, they think you’re an inspiration to everybody.”
His response to finding out that students across the country would now be given an award named and created after him was simply, “I liked it. It was a big surprise.” Nick explained how he never thought about ever winning any awards. “I just started writing and thought okay I’ll write some more.”
Nick’s best friend (Quinn) stated, “Maybe somebody related to Tom Brady will win it!” Quinn was so excited for his friend he couldn’t help but express his excitement with media, “He can do things I can do, and things I can’t. His handwriting is better than most people’s here.” Nick not only has great hand writing, him and Quinn have created their own illustrating and comic writing together, all inclusive with story lines and illustrations to go along.”
Laura Reville, a teacher at Nick’s school took some of the students to go see Sana Claus when Nick asked her if he could ask Santa for new arms and legs for Christmas. She replied with, “God made you the way you are for a reason, and even Santa has to follow God’s rules.” After he won his award Reville stated, “I think we’ve seen here today why God made you the way you are.”