Volunteer Spotlight: Laurie Blickenstaff

Volunteer Laurie Blickenstaff (left), pictured here with fellow Literacy Project volunteer Jackie Stockwell and BCMS Guidance Counselor Nita Kirwan, is a new addition to The Literacy Project volunteer team, but she is not new to The Literacy Project. “After working in the title insurance industry for several years, I decided to put my teaching license to use and teach middle school,” said Laurie.  “I taught middle school with Eagle County Schools for five years, and during that time I saw what a huge impact The Literacy Project’s Study Friends program had on our students.” 

Originally from Minnesota, Laurie has lived in Eagle County since 2000. “After graduate school, I decided I needed one last ‘hurrah’ before settling down, and came to Vail to be a ski bum for one season. As the familiar story goes…I never left.” Laurie lives in Gypsum with her husband, dog, and horses.

Now working as a Closing Agent with Land Title Guarantee Company, Laurie stays connected to education and gives back to the Eagle County community as a volunteer with The Literacy Project’s Study Friends program, which pairs adult tutors with area middle school students to offer homework help. Laurie tutors one middle school student for one hour, once a week, at the Eagle Public Library.

“Nothing can beat one-on-one time with a student, and they thrive—both educationally and emotionally–with that kind of attention,” said Laurie.

Laurie is always surprised how quickly that one hour flies by each week. As she approaches the end of her first academic year of tutoring, her tutoring experience finds her even more committed to the mission of The Literacy Project. “Literacy is the gateway to opportunity,” said Laurie. “People with strong literacy skills have many more choices in life.”