News in Brief: April 10

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April 10, 2009

3:38 AM

*Governor announces grants to buy foreclosed homes*

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine announced the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Monday to ease the impact of foreclosures due to the housing crisis on neighborhoods statewide. The program, which awards over $7 million in grants, will allow localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes so that they can be sold to low or middle-income families.

“Although our top priority is to help hardworking families avoid foreclosure in the first place, Virginia must also ensure abandoned homes don’t hurt local economies further by bringing down the value of nearby properties,” Kaine said in a press release.

Grants are being awarded to Loudon County, Spotsylvania County, Caroline County, Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg.

*Kaplan launches Facebook apps to help students*

Kaplan Higher Education, which offers test preparation materials, higher education classes and tutoring, has launched “The Qbank Challenge” to help students prepare for undergraduate and graduate entrance exams. The suite of Facebook applications has daily, timed quizzes with questions drawn from Kaplan’s test preparation material. Users can earn points through their performance and then use them toward rewards on Kaplan materials, such as discounts on Kaplan books.

“As students have migrated to new channels, such as Facebook, we have adapted our materials and offerings in ways that make the most of these media,” Barry Tonoff, director of marketing at Kaplan, said in a press release. “Through the Facebook application, students will have access to a supplemental test prep resource relevant to their lifestyle.”

Current applications are focused on SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, USMLE and NCLEX exam preparation.

*Funds announced for Health and Human Services*

Vice President Joe Biden announced the allocation of over $40 million in funds for childcare and disease prevention in Virginia Thursday. This plan is part of a $2 billion nationwide Child Care and Development Fund, which also includes the allocation of another $300 million for vaccines.

Health and Human Services programs in Virginia will receive $37,891,741 from the Recovery Act for disease prevention and childcare. Another $5,419,971 is being provided through grants to ensure that more Americans can receive access to vaccines. Most of the funding for vaccines is being distributed through the Center for Disease Control’s immunization program.

“Parents are worried about finding a job or keeping the job they have, and they shouldn’t have to worry about affording quality childcare,” Biden said in his announcement during National Public Health Week. “Safe, affordable, high-quality child care gives working parents the peace of mind they need to be stable, dependable employees.”

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