CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- A first grader from Greenbrier Christian Academy, who was born without hands, has won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship.

"Out of this world, people always say 'oh my gosh she is beyond her years how she speaks, everything that she does,'" said Anaya's mother, Bianca Middleton.

Anaya was born without hands and does not use prosthetics. In order to write, Anaya chooses to hold a pencil between her two arms, standing up to get the right angle on the paper.

"It was the first time that I have ever had a student like this, but I was very shocked at everything she can do from cutting to gluing, to writing," said Joan Stalnaker, Anaya's first grade teacher.

The award is part of the 2016 National Handwriting Competition, sponsored by Zaner-Bloser. The competition promotes teaching children legible handwriting.

"Anaya is a remarkable young lady. She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do," says GCA principal Tracy Cox. "She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class."

For more information on the Nicholas Maxim Award, visit the Zaner-Bloser website here.

PHOTOS: Girl born without hands wins penmanship competition