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 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 Shane Hagewood of King George, recipient of this year’s RILL scholarship. Shane is pursuing a degree in criminal justice at RCC.

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. Virginia Commonwealth Bank Golden Advantage members receive 15% off class tuition.


 SUMMER 2021

Several classes will be held virtually using Zoom. If you aren’t sure about Zoom, contact Michele Inderrieden, minderrieden@rappahannock.edu or call (804)333-6824 for a FREE Zoom drop in session. Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury residents can attend Zoom classes in the RW-C auditorium.

Church and State in Colonial and Revolutionary Virginia ($35)

Location: Historic Christ Church and Museum (adhering to COVID guidelines)

Instructor: Robert Teagle

Dates: Wednesdays, May 26, June 2, and June 9 from 10 am to 12 pm

Established by law and supported by taxation, the Church of England was the official religion of colonial Virginia. Church life revolved around the parish, a geographical area that supported a minister and functioned as a unit of local government. Over the 18th century, Presbyterians, Baptists, and other dissenters challenged the Church of England’s authority and traditional role in Virginia society.

In the Revolutionary period, Virginians brought forth religious liberty with landmark legislation that shaped the new nation in profound ways. This course examines how Virginia moved from a royal colony with few dissenters and a well-established Church of England to an independent commonwealth that declared religious freedom to be a natural right of mankind.

Robert Teagle is the Director of Programs & Communications at the Foundation for Historic Christ Church in Weems, Virginia, where he has worked since 2000. He earned his BA in History from the College of William and Mary and MA in American History from Virginia Tech. His research interests include the architectural history of early Virginia, the role of the Church of England and the rise of religious liberty in colonial Virginia, the Carter family, slavery and emancipation, and the history of Christ Church Parish.

Register and pay here

The Invention and Evolution of Slavery

Location: Zoom

Instructor: Rev. Robert Prichard

Dates: Wednesdays, June 9, 16, 23 from 1 pm to 3 pm

When the first Africans arrived at Jamestown in 1619, there was no provision in English law for perpetual servitude.  It would take most of a century to create the legal structures to support slavery. When those provisions were finally in place, the institution was not static; it continued to change. By the same token, emancipation was not brought about by a single proclamation or victory in battle; it was the result of a struggle that was already under way before the American Revolution began.  This class will trace the rise and fall of American Slavery in a series three lectures. 

Photo Credit: Slave Auction Block fredericksburgva.gov). Used with permission.

Robert W. Prichard taught history for thirty-six years at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and is now a Professor Emeritus at that institution.  He graduated from Princeton (B.A.), Yale (Master of Divinity), and Emory (Ph.D.) and is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church.  He has served in five different churches in Virginia, including a Spanish language congregation and an historically Black church. He is the author or editor of ten books, including A History of the Episcopal Church.  He and his wife live in Middlesex County. 

Register and pay here 


Menokin Landscape Walking Tour ($25 per date)

Location: Menokin Foundation, Warsaw

Instructors: Alice French, Julia Grassia

Tour date #1: Monday, June 14 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am

Tour date #2: Monday, June 21 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am

Tour date #3: Monday, June 28 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am

9 slots available per date

Learn how the built environment and cultural landscape preserved at Menokin reveals the lived experience of the people. Their triumphs and struggles over the course of Menokin’s history are tied to the nation’s founding ideals and realities. Discover the exciting progress being made on the glass house project. Please note: COVID procedures will be in effect with a signed waiver required. This is a walking tour on unpaved surfaces.

Alice French is Menokin’s education coordinator and a Mariaelena DiBenigno, Ph.D. Candidate, American Studies Program at The College of William and Mary.

Julia Grassia is the Director of Visitor Services, Community Engagement and developed Menokin’s new Landscape Walking Tour. She has a BA from the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

 Register and pay here


Using Windows 10 More Effectively ($35)

Location: Zoom

Instructor: Martin Bailey

Dates: Thursdays, July 15, 22, and 29 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system for personal computers and continues to mature as each new release introduces many enhancements. This course will cover often missed or unknown features of Windows 10 and help you maximize efficiency. Students must have a working knowledge of their computer and basic knowledge of Windows 10.

Martin gave me confidence to get to know my computer; I’ve already used things he taught us. He listened to us.–note from student

Martin Bailey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from The College of William and Mary and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. He is retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren and is an adjunct professor with RCC.

Register and pay here

Classes may be rescheduled, moved to Zoom, or cancelled based on changing COVID-19 guidelines.
For more information, please contact Michele Inderrieden at (804)333-6824 or email minderrieden@rappahannock.edu.

RILL On Demand Library

Did you miss these RILL classes? Now you can access courses on your on time. We’re offering the recordings and handouts of these RILL classes.

Winning the War Against Paper Clutter ($20)

Instructor: Debbie Bowie

Paper is unrelenting. It just keeps pouring in, cluttering our homes and offices, and can shut down even the best organizers. In this class you will learn what makes paper management challenging, steps for clearing paper clutter and daily paper management, what to keep and what to trash. You’ll leave with strategies to help prevent future paper clutter nightmares.

Debbie Bowie holds a Master’s degree in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University She is a professional organizer of 23 years specializing in ADHD.

Access Winning the War Against Paper

Navigating the Virginia General Assembly ($35)

Instructor: Dr. Matt Brent

Learn more about Virginia’s governing body, including its history, constitutions, relationship to the Governor and the courts, structure, leadership, and more. You’ll also discover who your representatives are and how to contact them.

Dr. Matt Brent is a professor of U.S. History, Virginia History, World History, and Western Civilization at RCC. He also teaches courses on American Politics and Local Politics.

Access Navigating the VA General Assembly

Changing Personal Behavior: What it Means and What it Takes ($35)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Chapman

To change behavior, how you feel or act, you have to change how you think. This course will help you understand the stages of readiness to make changes and steps that can be taken at each of these stages; how to formulate a plan to successfully attempt behavior change; recognizing and overcoming obstacles; and come away with an increased sense of “I can do this.” One of the goals is promoting change through self-discovery.

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.

Access Changing Personal Behavior

Living with ADHD: Challenges and Solutions ($20)

Instructor: Debbie Bowie

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that affects the ability to focus, manage time, initiate and sustain action, complete tasks and regulate emotions. This class explores how ADHD shows up, brain challenges underlying ADHD, various clinical models and ways of addressing, understanding, accepting, and managing ADHD. Great informational class for people who have ADHD as well as their family members.

Debbie Bowie holds a Master’s degree in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University She is a professional organizer of 23 years specializing in ADHD.

Access Living with ADHD

Genealogy: Selected Topics ($35)

Instructor: Bessida Cauthorne White

This class will explore answers to some of the questions most frequently raised by budding family historians. Topics include online research: resources and best practices; DNA as a family research tool to supplement traditional research – nuts and bolts of genetic genealogy; Preserving and sharing family history – ways to record, share, exchange, and preserve family stories, particularly in a pandemic age; the opportunity to present challenges for class discussion and analysis.

Bessida Cauthorne White, a genealogist for nearly 40 years, is her church’s historian and historian for eight families. She is a founder of two genealogy societies and currently serves as president of the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical Historical Society. White manages the DNA results for 35 persons.                   

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Living Large and Leaving a Legacy ($35)

Tom Baker, VP, VCB Financial Group, discusses how the 2020 election and COVID-19 may affect your personal finances and assets, including post-election, non-political prognostications and overview of the CARES Act. Make confident financial decisions before the end of the year.

This three-session class covers: estate planning in plain English; avoiding a real life (post death) “Family Feud”; retirement planning in a low-yield environment; and the joy of charitable giving. Now more than ever, estate and retirement planning, combined with charitable giving is vital to creating a comfortable life in retirement.

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Introduction to Feng Shui ($20)

Feeling stuck? Stressed? Cluttered? The arrangement of your living areas and work spaces influences your relationships, health, finances, and more. Certified Professional Organizer Debbie Bowie shows you ways to create balance and harmony in areas you spend most of your time to affect positive changes in your life.

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Investing for Income in a COVID World ($20)

Does the volatility of the stock market make you jumpy? Worried about your investments? Clayton James, founder and Managing Director of Jamestowne Investments LLC, talks to you about how to make your investments work for you in an unsettled market

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Edna O’Brien Literary Sampler ($35)

In this discussion-based course, Gail Kenna takes students on a literary journey through three novels from the captivating Irish writer, Edna O’Brien whose literary life began in the 1960s and continues today. The works discussed are Country Girls (the trilogy), Light in Evening, and The Little Red Chairs. An optional book will be O’Brien’s memoir, Country Girl.

Access Edna O’Brien

John Keats portraitLocal Lifelong Learners Win Literary Awards

Rappahannock Community College’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) recently learned that several students were winners in a national literary competition. Ilona Duncan of Heathsville, Sarah Collins Honenberger and Shari Dwyer both of Tappahannock, were named winners in the 2020 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition in San Francisco.

This outreach program of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) is beginning its third decade of inviting writers everywhere, to address soul-making in innovative ways, based on a quote from John Keats. “Some say the world is a vale of tears, I say it is a place of soul-making.” Each category of the contest has a judge; and each judge has a page on the Soul Keats website which explains that category. Of the 13, two categories are designated exclusively for youth. RILL instructor, Gail Wilson Kenna, has been the judge for Creative Nonfiction since 2017. Kenna says the judging is blind, that only Eileen Malone, the director, knows the identity of hundreds of writers from around the United States and other countries.

See the full press release or check out the contest website.


(Classes may be rescheduled, moved to Zoom, or cancelled based on changing COVID-19 restrictions.)

For more information, please contact Michele Inderrieden at (804)333-6824 or email minderrieden@rappahannock.edu.