Focal Point: 1984 to 1988 History


1984 marked continued growth for Literacy Volunteers of Rochester (LVR). During this year, the organization’s efforts reached far into the Rochester community and making an impact of the lives of local adults. In July 1984, LVR took part in the Rochester sesquicentennial events by hosting “A Celebration of Reading in Rochester” at the Manhattan Square Park. The event brought together families for a bookswap, reading sessions, and more. 

Furthermore, Carl Zuehlke, the husband of founder Queenie, was still an active member of LVR even after his wife passing in 1971. Carl worked with LVR give presentations to other local organizations about the problems of illiteracy and how volunteers can help reduce adult illiteracy rates in Monroe County. 


Many changes occured for LVR in 1985. First, the organization changed its official name to “Literacy Volunteers of America – Rochester NY, Inc” (LVAR) to fall in line with national branding. The name change ensured consistency with local and national literacy efforts while still offering individuality. 

In 1985, three volunteers celebrated twenty years with LVAR. These individuals included Nan Oster, Nancy Rickard, and Joseph Kelly. The three received recognition at the annual meeting and would continue to donate their time to the organization in the following years. Other members were recognized for their time with LVAR as well

Barbara Bush and a LVR student

In October, Barbara Bush visited the LVAR office and talked with volunteers, students, and board members. 

Read more about Barbara Bush’s visit in a previous blog feature: HERE


Volunteers at LVAR took this year to focus on the organization’s growth and tutor workshops. Over a dozen workshops were hosted to train tutors. LVAR saw significantly more students needing literacy help and the demand for volunteers to be trained grew. In total, there were a total of 583 active tutors during 1986 and 479 students who received help. 

Below are some pictures of new tutors from workshops during the year.


In 1987, LVAR faced a diminishing supply of administrative volunteers and an increasing need for services. So, it was decided to hire a part-time program coordinator to help fill in the gaps and maintain consistency in the organization. The person hired for this position was none other than Hinda Miller who eventually moved up to become the first executive director of LVAR. 


1988 marked another big year for LVAR as the organization moved from its location on College Ave. to Culver Road. The previous office space was sold to the Red Cross. LVAR would ultize the space on Culver Road until 1992

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