News briefs for the week of May 3, 2023: Tutoring help available, Wilkerson signs to Coastal, scams and more

See below for a roundup of this week’s news briefs.

Parents can get tutoring help for students

The Virginia Department of Education is now accepting applications from parents for tutoring microgrants for their children through Governor Glenn Youngkin’s K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants program. Youngkin created the program to help Virginia families address the impact of the pandemic on student learning.

The $30 million program provides $1,500 grants to parents of school-age children for tutoring in English, mathematics, science and history, as well as foreign languages required to meet diploma requirements. Children from homes with family incomes at 300% or less of the federal poverty level may qualify for $3,000 grants. Grants may also be used for support services such as speech language pathology and reading interventions.

“It is essential that parents have both the information and the support that the report and the grants provide,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said. “I encourage every parent to take advantage of free tutoring to support their child.”

Available services include in-person, online and hybrid tutoring provided one-on-one and in small group or large-group settings. Parents of students with disabilities may also use up to $750 of their awards for the purchase of assistive technologies specified in their child’s Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan.

Wilkerson signs with Coastal Carolina

Rylee Wilkerson

Tylee Wilkerson has been chosen to perform with the Coastal Carolina Dance Team. Pictured are, from left, on the front row, Tonya Wilkerson, Rylee Wilkerson and Bill Wilkerson. Back row, Field Green, KFS Cheer Coach; Joe Maione, KFS Athletic Director; Lori Bacon, KFS Head of School; Dawn Wilhelm, Dream Makers Studio Owner.

Kenston Forest School (KFS) Senior Rylee Wilkerson, signed to dance at Coastal Carolina in Conway, South Carolina. Out of 50 girls trying out for the Coastal Carolina University Dance Team, Rylee was one of the 23 girls chosen to be on the team.

Rylee has danced with Dream Makers Studio in Blackstone and has won many awards in dance competitions. She has been a Kenston Forest cheerleader during her high school years and was awarded VCC All-Academic for Cheer. Rylee is the daughter of Bill and Tonya Wilkerson of Crewe.







Beware of gift card scams as we head into summer

Gift card sales rose from $130 billion in 2015 to $173 billion in 2021, and while they are popular with consumers, they are also popular with criminals. In fact, researchers estimate that $40 to $50 billion is stolen from fraud victims in any given year.

Here’s what you need to know about the two primary ways people are defrauded using gift cards.

Criminals have several ways of claiming gift card balances so that the money is gone before the card is even delivered. In fact, a 2022 AARP survey found that one in four respondents to the AARP survey said they had given or received a gift card that turned out to have no value on it. To combat this purchase cards directly from the business that issued them, preferably by ordering them online. If you do purchase them in a store check to make sure that the packaging hasn’t been tampered with and register your card with the retailer if that option is offered.

Lastly, criminals prefer gift cards as a form of payment from their victims because they are readily available and hard to trace. If anyone asks you to pay for a debt or obligation with a pre-paid gift card it is a scam and you should cut off communication.

For more information, visit or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.

Quarterly meeting held

Lunenburg Nottoway Retired TeachersThe Lunenburg Nottoway Retired Teachers Association held its quarterly meeting on Thursday, April 20 at the Ripberger Public Library in Kenbridge. After the business segment, Library Programmer Connie Krupa shared an interactive story: Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera. The group enjoyed lunch and nearby shopping following the meeting. Members in attendance Included Florence Oliver, Doris Fisher, Rose Ann Sweetney, Gloria Pinckney, Jean Overman, Chrystal Wynn, Willette Hazelwood, Evelyn Staples and Ruby Ingram.