Lifelong Friends Team Up

College of Education

SUMMARY: Alison Bauer (above, back row, 5th from the left) graduated from her Education program in 1987 but still gets together with lifelong friends made at JMU.


Alison Bauer graduated from her Education program in 1987 but still gets together with lifelong friends made at JMU, including Amy (Laser) Kiger, Maura (Hanrahan) Mountain, DeLisa (Kilpatrick) Alexander, Lisa (Bennett) Bradley, Amy Fox and Chrys Peterson. During a recent catch-up on Zoom, Bauer talked about teaching 5th grade at Waynewood Elementary school in Alexandria, VA. With her school’s mask mandate, a favorite activity of reading out loud to her class has become challenging – needing to talk even louder (what she called “super-projecting”), not having the benefit of conveying facial expressions, and not seeing the full reactions of her students. To give her a break, her JMU pals offered to read to her students over Zoom once a week. The roommates each took a turn reading a chapter from the book Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds ( Bauer knew this would be a great activity for her students, as the reader could do so without a mask. She said, “My students looked forward to the surprise guest each week and always asked where she was coming from. They also asked questions about JMU and finally figured out how old I actually am by doing the math from my graduation in 1987.”

Bauer also noted that she projected the pages as they read and this has now become a standard classroom practice for her. “Some of my kids really love to follow along with the words. I’d love to know the research on that and how it supports literacy,” Bauer stated.


“I can’t begin to express how this lifted my spirits during an unexpectedly difficult year. The support from my long-time friends to not only read but to take time to come into our classroom and model a love of reading from all kinds of professions: accountants, lawyers, and community college fundraiser extraordinaire. All kinds of people love to read.”

One of the guest readers, Amy Kiger, stated, “We have so much love and respect for all teachers, especially during these tough times brought about by the COVID pandemic. When we saw an opportunity to help our friend Alison, we jumped on it! Bringing our voices from various states into Alison’s classroom and to her students - and sharing a little JMU spirit at the same time - was a real joy!”

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Published: Monday, December 13, 2021

Last Updated: Monday, January 9, 2023

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