Anne Sullivan: The Educator's Early Years

Anne Sullivan was Helen Keller's teacher. She was the perfect teacher for Helen because she could relate to many of Helen's struggles. Anne had had a very sad childhood. She developed an eye infection when she was just five. Her family was very poor. They could not afford to take her to the doctor right away. When they finally did, it was too late. Anne was almost blind. Her mother died when she was eight years old. When she was ten, her father left, and Anne and her younger brother were sent to the Tewksbury Almshouse. It was a place where poor and sick people lived. Anne's younger brother, Jimmie, was sick. Soon, he died. Anne felt very sad. She also felt very alone.

Anne lived at the institution for several years. She wanted to leave but didn't know how she could since she was nearly blind. One day, an older resident told Anne about the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Anne dreamed of going there. She couldn't believe that there was actually a place in the world for people just like her! Some time later a group of visitors came to the poorhouse. One of them was connected to Perkins. Anne begged the visitors to send her to the school. It worked! She left Tewksbury and moved to Perkins.

Anne had to work very hard at Perkins. Even though she was fourteen, Anne could not read or write. She couldn't add or subtract either. Anne had a very quick temper, but she .....

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