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.