Bangor Literacy Group Celebrates Milestone 

Joy Hollowell

We are bombarded with written words all the time. Now imagine what it would be like, if you couldn’t read them.Literacy Volunteers of Bangor is celebrating its 40th year of helping adults with their reading skills.Joy Hollowell tells us more about this organization and the work they do.”My first student was a young man who was 22. And my oldest student was a lady who was heading towards 80 (laughs).”Rachel Heath joined Literacy Volunteers of Bangor back in 19-78. The teacher was looking for something to fill her time during the winter. More than 30 years later, she is still an active volunteer.”there’s a great deal of satisfaction in having a student come up to you and say, I got my GED, and my son is now getting his,” says Rachel Heath.Rachel joined other tutors Monday at the Bangor Public library, to celebrate the organization’s 40th year of teaching adults how to read.Mary Marin Lyon is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.”today, we’re actually recognizing our founders, their names are Agnes Beckwith and Sister Mary Begninga. And 40 years ago, they saw a need in their community and they crossed religious lines, which was significant at that time, one was a Catholic nun and the other was a Baptist woman, and they came together to really look a how they could join forces,” says Lyon.Turns out T-V 5 played a role in helping the two women with their mission.”Agnes Beckwith, who was a co-founder of this organization, hit the ground running. And she went to your station to promote this whole concept, which was new in Maine at the time,” says Emily Cameron, whose been researching the group’s history.This year, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor will help about 200 adults in our area improve their reading skills, a gift that both the student and tutor benefit from.”oh, when you see the light come on in their eyes that they really get something, that’s everything. That’s the biggest high you can get (laughs).”For more information on Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, you can call 947-8451 or go to their website,