STORIES
Teachers Heroes

Anne Sullivan

by Georgia from Anmore, Canada


"By nature she was a conceiver, a trail blazer, a pilgrim, of lives wholeness. So day by day, month after month, year in and year out she labored to provide me with a diction and a voice sufficient for my service to the blind" Helen Keller.

Anne Sullivan Macy is my hero because she had so much perseverance when teaching her deaf-blind student, Helen Keller. Anne's way of teaching children and the visually impaired still continues today. For this reason Anne is called the "miracle worker."

Anne grew up in horrible poverty with 5 brothers and sisters, only 2 grew up to be adults. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother died from tuberculosis when Anne was only 9 years old.


Anne got trachoma, an eye infection, when she was seven and unfortunately it was left for too long and permanently impaired her vision. She had very little sight when she was finally treated at 15. Anne was visually impaired for the rest of her life. When her mother died of TB Anne and her brother Jimmie were sent to Tewksbury Alms (a house for the poor and needy). Three months after, her brother died from TB as well. After this hard childhood Anne went to the Perkins School for the Blind to live and work.

On March 3rd 1887, Anne went to Tuscumbia, Alabama to meet Helen Keller. Helen had been blind and deaf since she was 3 so she didn't know how to talk or how to behave. Helen was very difficult because she couldn't communicate. Helen and Anne lived alone in a cottage close to the house so that Anne could teach her properly.

When Helen and Anne were at the water pump one day, Anne put Helen's hand under the flowing water and wrote the letters W-A-T-E-R on Helen's hand. Then Helen realized that W-A-T-E-R means water. That moment is when Helen first communicated with another human, that moment at the water pump changed Helen's life. Anne then went on to teach Helen to read braille which is raised dots on paper. Helen became famous and visited the White House and President Cleveland. She also met Alexander Graham Bell who was working with sound. Through all those hard and good times, Anne stuck by Helen's side.

Anne had to work so hard in order for Helen to have a great life and if she did not, her family would have no choice other than to send her to an insane Asylum. And Anne succeeded! She gave Helen so much. Without Anne we would all think way differently about deaf and blind people, and it really would not be fair. Anne gave us all so much and now it is our turn to give back to her and the many heroes that have sacrificed their lives for us.

Page created on 1/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

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