KENNEBUNK — The Kennebunk Free Library is offering a series of programs called “Meet Someone New” for children in grades 2-5. Each program highlights an individual from the library’s People & History collection. This month’s program introduces Thomas Gallaudet and Annie Sullivan on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

In 1814, Thomas Gallaudet went to Great Britain and Europe in hopes of learning the best method to teach deaf children so that he could help his deaf neighbor, young Alice Cogswell. She inspired him to make the long and dangerous journey because of her “bright spirit.” When he returned home he brought Laurent Clerc with him and together they developed the language now known as American Sign Language. They also started a school in Connecticut that spawned deaf schools all over America.

Annie Sullivan became Helen Keller’s teacher in 1887. Helen had an illness when she was only 19 months old that left her blind and deaf. Her frustration at being unable to communicate made her difficult to handle, and her family let her behave badly most of the time. Annie and Helen fought many battles at the beginning of their relationship but they became the deepest of friends as Annie taught her how to read and write, giving her the gift of communication.

Come learn about these extraordinary individuals and create an art project using the Braille alphabet.

Pre-registration is required. The program is free and wheelchair accessible. The Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St., Kennebunk. For more information or to preregister, call 985-2173, ext. 5 or visit