The sounds of colonial life in Williamsburg may be getting a lot louder soon.....and the term 'valedictorian' is taking on a whole new meaning for some high school students in Virginia and across the nation. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on

A little-known state program that assists lower-income students with college scholarships is ending its five-year pilot and is poised for permanent expansion. SOAR Virginia is an early commitment scholarship program created by the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. Its goal is to inspire high school students and help them pursue higher education. 

Feed & Read

Jul 9, 2015

For many children, summer is a time to enjoy a break from rigorous class work. But for some kids, summer vacation means that they’re no longer guaranteed a lunch- and in some cases, even breakfast. Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visited Roanoke’s Main Library Wednesday to celebrate the Feed and Read program, which works in conjunction with the Summer Food Service Program. The S-F-S-P provides free meals to children 18 and under in eligible areas throughout Virginia.

Federal legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 has come under fire from Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus and a coalition of national and state civil rights organizations.  

The groups assert that both the U.S. House and Senate versions of the reauthorization fail to adequately protect vulnerable student populations.

Many aspiring college students take time each summer to visit different schools or to take part in orientation at the campus where they’ll study in the fall, but a much older group of visitors has been touring universities in Virginia.

Virginia Commonwealth University is less than a mile from the state capitol, but 22 members of the House Appropriations committee recently took a bus ride across campus to complete a statewide listening tour focused on higher education. Here’s committee vice chair Steve Landes.