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Snippet of Know Your History: Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

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station description A History Podcast for Kids
Know Your History
Duration: 03:56
Teachers who empathize change lives, as with Sullivan and Keller, who shared difficult childhoods. Listen here to how they braved the obstacles and grew from them together.
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Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan were lifelong companions, both sharing similarly difficult childhoods and having to overcome immense obstacles. In this snippet, Emily, and her children, Lila, Ruby, and Aura, show us how the friendship between this teacher and student inspires gratitude, and how their empathetic relationship allowed them to both succeed in their goals. Be sure to check out the full episode, and history lessons from Emily and the family, at the Know Your History Station.
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Helen Keller was born on June 27th, 18 60 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, When she was 19 months old, she became very sick, and the doctor did not expect her to live. She miraculously survived, but the illness left her blind and deaf. Take a moment to really imagine that. Do you know anyone who is about a year and a half old? Imagine that toddler giving really sick for days unconscious with fever. Then imagine her confusion when she woke to a dark and silent world. No more talking or singing or stories. No more light or collar. No more learning through listening and watching. Can you imagine how scary and how lonely that would be? Helen's life is The child was difficult. Her parents felt sorry for her, and we'll let her do whatever she wanted. This'll only taught her to be wild and uncontrollable. She would often pinch hit, bite, kick, scream and throw herself on the ground. Many people felt that she acted more like a wild animal than a child. One day, Helen's mother stumbled upon a story about another blind and deaf girl who had successfully learned to communicate. This discovery gave the family hope, and they began looking for a teacher for Helen, 20 year old, and Sullivan, a recent graduate of the renowned Perkin School for the Blind, took the job. Anne Sullivan had had a very difficult childhood herself. When she was about five years old, her eyes became infected and her family was too poor to take her to the doctor. Slowly, her eyes clouded over until all she could see was light. She was abandoned again and again during her young life. Her mother died when she was eight. Then her drunk, violent father left. She was taken in by an aunt and uncle, but they then turned her and her sickly brother out toe live in a poor house in the poor house. Her brother died, leaving her completely alone. By the age of 10, conditions in the poor house were awful. It was overcrowded, run down and filthy. Many of the people she lived with were criminals, mentally ill or disease. Later, she said, very much of what I remember about the poor house is indecent, cruel and gruesome. When an was 14, she persuaded a wealthy visitor to sponsor her education. She was sent to the Perkins School for the Blind. But ANZ hard life was not over. There was so much she had never been taught. She couldn't read or write. She didn't even know her birthday. Many of the other students and some of the teachers ridiculed her. She was made to study with the kindergarten class, which was a great embarrassment. An was miserable, but she was also stubborn, determined and very bright with time, and overcame her obstacles and graduated from the Perkins School at the very top of her glass. Helen's parents request for a teacher came just when it was time for an to leave the school and make her own way in the world. Fortunately, surgery had partially restored her eyesight. She accepted the job and arrived at the Kellers home in March 18 87. Hello.
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