STORIES
Teachers Heroes

Annie Sullivan

by Annie

If you think Annie Sullivan’s life was easy, you’re wrong! She was a hero within. Annie helped Helen Keller become a great person despite that Helen was blind, deaf and lame. Doing this was hard because Helen was stubborn. Annie was determined and never gave up.

Annie Sullivan had a very miserable childhood. She and her brother Jimmy were the only people left in their family. They were very poor. Annie was blind and Jimmy was lame. They had to live in Tewksbury the state poorhouse in Massachusetts after their parents died. After a few months, Jimmy died. Annie was very upset she was all alone now; because she had no family. Annie wanted to go to school, so one day when some important visitors came to the poorhouse, Annie told them. They decided to send her to the Perkins Institution for the blind in Boston. Annie grew up to be a great reader. She soon was sent to a hospital where her eyes were operated upon. She could see much better after the operations. She stayed in Perkins until she graduated from college as a teacher when she was twenty. Annie was assigned to be Helen Keller’s teacher by Helen’s parents. Helen Keller was a girl with many disabilities; she was blind, deaf and lame.

Annie had to overcome many challenges and obstacles. As you know, when she was child, she was blind. Helen her student was also very strong and stubborn. She had bad manners and would not cooperate. She would grab food off people’s plates. Helen would always whine. During the end her life, Annie became very ill and began to lose her sight again.

There are three character traits to describe Annie. One is determined. When Annie ate meals with the Kellers, Helen would grab food off people’s plates, and stuff it in her mouth. She had very bad manners. Annie wanted this to stop so she asked everyone to leave the room. She sat Helen down and forced her to eat with a fork. Helen was stubborn, but Annie wouldn’t give up. Another character trait is kindness. Annie helped Helen through her whole life. Without Annie-- Helen would be nothing. She loved Helen and Helen loved her. In the beginning, Helen was stubborn and didn’t like Annie that much, but soon they had a great connection. Annie was also smart; she went to a great school (Perkins Institution). She also found clever ways to teach Helen, for example: one day in early April, Helen was confused between the words “mug” and “water”. Annie had an idea. She took Helen outside to the water pump.She had Helen hold a mug under the pump while Annie pumped water into the mug, the water over flowed onto Helen’s hand and through her fingers. Annie spelled water as this happened. Helen was not confused anymore, she spelled “water” many times herself (in sign language).

Annie made some tremendous contributions. She and Helen went on a lecture tour, where they gave lectures to society about Helen’s happiness and her five senses. Their lecture tour ended when people no longer wanted to hear what she had to say. Annie and Helen were speaking out against war, but with World War 1 going on in Europe and America about to join the fight, some people thought she was unpatriotic. Helen and Annie wanted to make another living. They agreed on being vaudeville (live acts such as acrobats performed in theaters) entertainers. During their vaudeville tours, Helen and Annie crossed the United States and Canada, performing with acrobats, strongmen, tap dancers and trained seals. Annie also helped Helen write and publish some books, including The World I live In, My Religion and The Story of My Life. Annie and Helen were asked to help raise money for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). They agreed to help. They would receive $2000 per month to make four appearances a week. They would talk about Helen’s life, answer questions and ask for donations to the AFB.

Annie changed Helen's life. She was a great person. Helen's life was miserable, but Annie made it happy and cheerful! Annie Sullivan is a hero within!

Page created on 8/30/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/30/2011 12:00:00 AM

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