Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning

RILL was designed with you in mind!

Enroll in a course today and explore something new in a stimulating classroom environment where you can share your interests with community members. RILL is an exciting program of the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (RCC EFI) that is intended to be a life-enriching learning experience for adults. As RILL students keep their minds active through these thought-provoking classes, they also have the privilege of helping local students in their pursuit of higher education. Each year a scholarship is awarded to an RCC student through net proceeds from RILL class tuition payments.

RILL congratulates Vernita Hargrove, recipient of the RILL scholarship for the 2022/2023 academic year. Vernita is a pre-nursing student, mother of five, and lives in Henrico. 

Classes: RILL’s noncredit college-level classes are held in convenient locations within RCC’s service region — Virginia’s Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas. Some instructors may suggest specific preliminary reading material to prepare students to get the most from the course; this information will be sent to registered students ahead of time. The courses will include neither prerequisites nor tests.

Benefits:  Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury residents enjoy 50% off class tuition. Blue Ridge Bank Golden Advantage members receive 15% off class tuition. RILL thanks our sponsors and partners!


Spring/Summer 2023


DIY Hydroponics ($45)

Location: Healthy Harvest Food Bank (Warsaw)

Instructor: Tammy Cole

Tuesdays, February 21, 28, and March 7

4 pm to 6 pm

Click here to register.

Learn more about growing your own herbs and vegetables throughout the year in this hands-on workshop. Gain an understanding of hydroponic plant growth and production requirements, learn the basics of constructing and operating your own small hydroponics system, and get tips for implementing in your own home. Each participant will construct and take home a hydroponic system ready to produce herbs, vegetables, even ornamentals. 

Tammy Cole, Director of Operations for Healthy Harvest Fresh, aquaponics education center and production facility in Warsaw, is a veteran agriculture instructor. She has a bachelor’s and master’s in Agriculture and Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech. Tammy was the Horticulture and Landscaping Instructor at the NNTC Governor’s STEM Academy for Agriculture & Maritime Studies. 


Winter-into-Spring Flower Arranging ($45)

Location: RCC Warsaw 

Instructor: Laura Anne Brooks

Wednesday, February 22

1 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

This winter-into-spring-themed design class will feature an arrangement presented in a flat container, rectangular or oval. To create this Ikebana-inspired design, students should bring a Kenzan fixture with needle points to hold plant materials, branches of spring shrubs or flowering trees, and flat container. Daffodils and tulips provided. The finished arrangement will serve as a breath of spring as winter disappears. Class is limited to 12 participants. 

Laura Anne Brooks is a floral designer in English and French schools as well as New Creative Design and Modern European design. Brooks has taught at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and lectures for many garden clubs and botanical groups. Her work is frequently seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.   


Taking Great Photos in 2023 ($35)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Steve Kancianic

Mondays, March 6, 13, and 20

10 am to 12 pm

Click here to register.

Certified professional photographer Steve Kancianic will give practical advice and tips for taking great-looking photos using whatever equipment you already have. Learn about lighting, posing, camera techniques, editing software, equipment, and more! Bring your camera or phone. Be inspired and gain the skills to take better photos.  

Steve Kancianic is the Owner and Lead Photographer at Yours Truly Photography in Kilmarnock, VA. Every year Steve photographs over 10,000 portraits in our local schools and youth sports leagues along with weddings and events.   


The Bible as Literature Part 2: The Christian Scripture ($35)

Location: RCC Warsaw and Zoom

Instructor: Dr. Ken Wilbur

Mondays, March 6, 13, and 20

1 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

The Christian Scriptures tell the story of Jesus’ life in the four gospels. Then the birth and growth of the church is told in a New Testament book called “The Acts of the Apostles.” There are more than 20 letters preserved in the Christian Scriptures written to individuals, churches, and Christians dispersed throughout the Roman world. “The Revelation” is a series of visionary experiences which is challenging to understand. This class will examine all these literary genres as well as show how form and content are interdependent and how a close examination of them can help readers to more fully understand and appreciate them all. 

Ken Wilbur holds a Ph.D. from Boston University in Hebrew Bible (1994). His dissertation examines the difference between prose and poetry in ancient Hebrew. He taught “An Introduction to the Old Testament” for the Christian Church in Virginia. 


Understanding Stress and Its Management ($25)

Location: RCC Warsaw

Instructor: Dr. Robert Chapman

Wednesdays, March 8 and 15

1 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

This is a 2-part workshop that explores the positive and negative effects of stress, its causes, and strategies for the management of its negative or harmful effects. This workshop will provide an overview of stress, including its causes, its role in evolutionary development, and a consideration of its positive as well as negative impact on our lives today. Various activities and exercises presented during the workshop will permit both a better understanding of stress as well as techniques and strategies to moderate its negative effects on one’s life.  

Dr. Robert Chapman was Associate Clinical Professor and Associate Director of the Behavioral Health Counseling program (retired) at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. He is a professional counselor specializing in substance use disorders. 


Brains and Balance ($35)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Meg Miller

Wednesdays, March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, and May 3

2 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

Comprehensive class designed for seniors with the goal of improving strength, flexibility, dexterity, and balance utilizing free weights, bands, and balls. Parts of the class are done while seated in a chair. Emphasis is on exercises and drills to build spatial awareness, improve or restore function, build muscle and assist in activities of daily living. Includes overview of basic muscle anatomy, dance for coordination, and dexterity/endurance challenges. 

Meg Miller is a certified group fitness instructor who teaches senior fitness classes at the Northumberland YMCA. 


Beginner Pickleball — Gloucester ($35)

Location: Newington Baptist Church, Gloucester

Instructor: Carlos Morales

Mondays, April 3, 10, 17, and 24

2 pm to 3:30 pm

Click here to register.

This course is designed for the first-time adult player and will cover the basics of Pickleball rules, terminology, primary skills, coordination, beginner court time, and more. Paddles and balls are provided. Class is limited to 12 students.  


Intermediate Pickleball — Gloucester ($35)

Location: Newington Baptist Church, Gloucester

Instructor: Carlos Morales

Mondays, May 1, 8, 15, and 22

2 pm to 3:30 pm

Click here to register.

This course is designed for the adult player who has completed the Beginner Pickleball course. Course emphasis will be on score keeping, improving different strokes with direction to include dink rally, serve/return of serve. Players will work on understanding the fundamentals of the game and proper court positioning and more. Paddles and balls are provided. Class is limited to 12 students.  

Carlos Morales holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern University in Education and played baseball at the collegiate level. Carlos is a USA Pickleball Ambassador and Certified Pickleball Coach. He now focuses his free time on promoting the “Fastest Growing Sport in the U.S.” to all levels. 


The History and Preservation of the Timberneck House ($20)

Location: Machicomoco State Park

Instructors: Dr. Dave Brown and Thane Harpole

Tuesday, April 18

10 am to 12 pm

Click here to register.

David Brown and Thane Harpole, will provide students with a detailed tour of the restoration of the c. 1793 Timberneck House at Machicomoco State Park. The class includes a discussion of the history of the property and a review of the restoration work undertaken to date. The visit concludes with a discussion of the upcoming work and the project goals moving forward, including the vision for creating a sustainable historic house with public exhibits and a lodging option within a state park.   

Dr. Dave Brown and Mr. Thane Harpole are co-directors of The Fairfield Foundation and co-owners of DATA Investigations LLC, a cultural resource management firm, and founding members of Werowocomoco Research Group. 


Four Masterful Short Story Writers ($45)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Gail Kenna

Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25

1 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

In a lecture and discussion-based course, four short story masters will be studied. The reading involves one or two stories for each writer. The first class is on the famous Russian, Anton Chekhov. The following two classes include two extraordinary Southern writers, Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor. The final class will explore a living American master of the genre, George Saunders. His contemporary stories are wildly successful and unforgettable. His only novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, won the Booker prize. The mission of George Saunders, it might be said, is to build and keep alive an audience for the short story.  

Gail Wilson Kenna is the author of five published books. She serves as the Creative Nonfiction judge for the Soul-Making Keats literary competition in San Francisco. Before moving to the Northern Neck in 2004, Kenna taught for colleges and universities in foreign countries and the U.S. Since 2005 she has offered writing and literature classes for RILL. Her weekly blog: www.gailwilsonkenna.com  


Virginia in the Seventeenth Century ($35)

Location: Historic Christ Church & Museum, Weems 

Instructor: Robert Teagle

Thursdays, June 1, 8, and 15

10 am to 12 pm

Click here to register.

This course looks at life in 17th-century Virginia. Themes include early exploration and settlement, interactions between Virginia Indians and English colonists, tobacco culture, the development of representative government, immigration, servitude and slavery, architecture, women, the Church of England, rebellion, disease, and more. From its near collapse during Jamestown’s early years to its transition to a slave society as the century closed, this course examines Virginia’s transformations.   

Robert Teagle is the Executive Director at the Foundation for Historic Christ Church in Weems, Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of William and Mary and Master of Art in American History from Virginia Tech. His research interests include the architectural history of early Virginia, the role of the Church of England, the Carter family, and slavery and emancipation. 


Beginner Pickleball — Warsaw ($35)

Location: RCC Warsaw Tennis Courts

Instructor: Paul Shrieves

Tuesdays, June 6, 13, 20, and 27

9 am to 10:30 am

Click here to register.

This course is designed for the first-time adult player and will cover the basics of Pickleball rules, terminology, primary skills, coordination, beginner court time, and more. Paddles and balls are provided. Class is limited to 12 students.  

Paul Shrieves is an avid pickleball player and is excited to promote the sport in the NNK. He has worked in telecommunications for 47 years starting with C&P Telephone and moved to telecommunications manager for a healthcare provider before starting his own company, Communications International. Paul served two years in the military, with 13 months overseas.  


Introduction to Windows 11 ($45)

Location: RCC Warsaw 

Instructor: Martin Bailey

Thursdays, June 15, 22, 29, and July 6

1 pm to 3 pm

Click here to register.

This course is designed for those who have some experience using a Microsoft Windows PC and desire to become more comfortable using many of its basic features. It will begin with computer operating fundamentals for both hardware and software and provide an overview of the Windows 11 operating system. Students will develop competency in file and folder organization and management, internet and email usage, and management of various file formats. This is a hands-on course allowing the students to work along with the instructor. Computers will be available; however, participants are encouraged to bring their own Windows laptops. Class is limited to 12 students. 

Martin Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in computer science from Virginia Tech. Before his retirement from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, he was involved in many aspects of computer work, including programming, algorithm development, database management systems, and computer security. Bailey is also an adjunct professor at RCC. 


For more information, please contact Brittany Abdul-Malik at (804)333-6707 or email bjenkins@rappahannock.edu.