Anne was determined to get out of Tewskbury. She had heard of a school for blind children in Massachusetts and she had heard that an investigation of Tewksbury was about to take place. In 1880, when Frank B. Sanborn, an official for the State Board of Charities of Massachusetts, came to inspect the school, Anne flung herself at him saying, "Mr. Sanborn, Mr. Sanborn, I want to go to school!"
Her plea was successful. Very soon after she had pleaded with the official, she was sent to the Perkins School for the Blind. Some of the women who lived at Tewksbury dressed her for the journey, replacing her threadbare and ill-fitting garments with better clothing. She later recounted the train journey to Perkins on October 7, 1880:
The essence of poverty, is shame. Shame to have been overwhelmed by ugliness, shame to be the hole in the perfect pattern of the universe. In that moment an intense realization of the ugliness of my appearance seized me. I knew that the calico dress which I had thought rather pretty when they put it on me was the cause of the woman's pity, and I was glad that she could not see the only other garment I had on...the inadequacy of my outfit did not dawn upon me until the woman pitied me.