After her son Neil was diagnosed with dyslexia, she took an interest in literacy issues and began working with several different literacy organizations.She spent much time researching and learning about the factors that contributed to illiteracy—she believed homelessness was also connected to illiteracy She traveled around the country and the world, either with the vice president on official trips or by herself. Fred's Story, which recounted the adventures of a family as related by their cocker spaniel, C. She donated all of the book's proceeds to literacy charities.When he returned on leave, she had discontinued her studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; For the first eight months of their marriage, the Bushes moved around the Eastern United States, to places including Michigan, Maryland, and Virginia, where George Bush's Navy squadron training required his presence.
She became famous for expressing a sense of humor and self-deprecating wit.
By this time, Barbara had experienced two presidential campaigns, but broke new ground by becoming the third candidate's spouse to speak at the national party convention that nominated her husband (after Eleanor Roosevelt in 1940 and Pat Nixon in 1972).
The campaign at times focused on the large Bush family, and contrasted her with the First Lady, Nancy Reagan, by highlighting her interest in domestic staples such as church, gardening, and time spent with family while placing less emphasis on style sense and fashion; she drew attention to both her famous white hair and disinterest in wearing designer clothes.
During the early 1980s, after statistics had shown that foreign-born immigrants from Latin America had nearly quintupled just since 1960, statistics showed that 35 million adults could not read above the eighth-grade level and that 23 million were not able to read beyond a fourth-grade level. Bush appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the situation and spoke regularly on Mrs.
Bush's Story Time, a national radio program that stressed the importance of reading aloud to children.