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The 1980s

Events of the 1980s affected our society. The AIDS/HIV crisis​ loomed large. “Boat people,” refugees from Viet Nam, arrived in large numbers​. Home computers began inching into America’s households at the forefront of huge technology changes. President George H.W. Bush stressed volunteerism.

Literacy Volunteers slowly evolved. Low student numbers meant a need to increase public awareness. This was helped by a national awareness campaign sponsored by the media and encouraged by First Lady Barbara Bush.

The arrival of Vietnamese refugees meant a new emphasis on helping people with little to no English.

As student and tutor numbers grew, Literacy Volunteers needed a more professional approach to its business. It had survived for 15 years on a purely volunteer basis, operating out of a tiny office next to the basement bathroom of the Bangor Public Library. In 1985, it finally acquired its first paid staff person.