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Handwriting by Glen Head girl, 9, is prize-winning cursive

Third-grader Cecilia Saad, 9, is seen in class

Third-grader Cecilia Saad, 9, is seen in class at The Green Vale School Thursday afternoon, May 19, 2016. Cecilia won a national competition for excellence in cursive handwriting. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A Glen Head 9-year-old’s captivating cursive has earned her top marks on the national stage.

Cecilia Saad, a student at the Green Vale School, was named the top third-grader in the Zaner-Bloser national handwriting contest, beating out more than 37,350 participants in this year’s annual competition.

The pint-size perfectionist won over six handwriting experts with her submission — seven lines of painstakingly perfect cursive, which she said she labored over for two days.

More than 270,000 students entered the national competition, which is open to children in kindergarten through the eighth grade. Writing samples were judged on the shape, size, spacing and slant of the students’ script, according to a Zaner-Bloser spokeswoman. The winners and semifinalists were announced in late March.

“When Cecilia has her mind made up about something, she’s just the type of girl to keep working on it until she sees it through,” said her teacher, Lorraine Campbell.

Cecilia became “obsessed” with perfecting her script, she said, and would constantly ask Campbell to spend more class time teaching cursive.

Cecilia will be honored Friday in the school’s auditorium, where she’ll be presented with a trophy, medal and a $1,000 check from Zaner-Bloser, an Ohio-based company that publishes educational material. The Green Vale School will also receive $1,000 in school supplies and Campbell will be awarded a trip in July to the International Literacy Association annual conference in Boston.

The girl’s mother, Bettina Saad, said her daughter has decided to donate a portion of her winnings to the Tanzanian Children’s Fund, a nonprofit recently featured on “60 Minutes” that provides for 95 children and is run by Green Vale alumnus India Howell.

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