Education & Agriculture

    The 2018 Land Use Council (LUC) #13 Envirothon was held on March 13 in Mount Vernon.  
    The Clinton County Soil & Water Conservation District is one of the sponsors of the LUC #13 Envirothon, which is a unique approach to educating high school students about the natural world around them.  
    The participating schools had teams made up of five students who worked together to take written tests on the following topics:  aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and western rangeland management.  
    Carlyle High School and Central High School each submitted two teams of FFA students.  Out of the 14 schools and 25 teams participating, Central Team 2 placed second, Central Team 1 fifth, Carlyle Team 2 seventh and Carlyle Team 1 10th.  
    Central Team 2 also placed first in Clinton County and first in the wildlife category. Carlyle Team 2 placed first in the western rangeland management category.  
    Carlyle High School’s Ag teacher/adviser is Tamra Gerstenecker and Central High School’s Ag teacher/adviser is Rick Harre.

Central Team 1Central Team 1: (from left) Chris Gerdes, Tyson Thole, Nathan Strieker, Trent Beer and Ryan Von Bokel.Carlyle Team 1Carlyle Team 1: (from left) Erin Dierkes, Kali Michael, Allison Diekemper, Amanda Voss and Katie Detering.

Carlyle Team 2Carlyle Team 2: (from left) Dakota McFarland, Jenna Koelmel, Danielle Lange, Callie Diekemper and Tanner Voss.Central Team 2 with teacherCentral Team 2: (from left) Ag teacher Rick Harre, Blake Markus, Andrew Strieker, Zach Wempe, Rece Schneider and Devon Becker.

butterfly dreams    Butterfly Dreams Leadership Teens is presenting Substance Abuse Prevention for Teens, a program for area teenagers set for Wednesday, March 28 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Breese Activity Center (480 South Fourth Street).
    Butterfly Dreams Alliance executive director Patricia McKnight commented, “We are inviting all area teens — freshman through senior year — to sit in on this program. Prom, dances, parties and warmer weather will be here soon and we want to give local teens the tools to make safe decisions based on knowledge and understanding of various substances and our body’s reaction in their use.”
    The program is supported and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  
    “If you are a parent or guardian of a high school teen, please have them attend this presentation,” McKnight said, adding that a program geared toward parents will be held in the future. “This is just phase one of a new prevention/wellness strategy for our local families.”
    Guest speaker of the event is Natasha Morrow, Substance Abuse Prevention specialist for Clinton and Washington counties.
    Morrow works with communities to bring awareness to the risks associated with underage drinking and substance use through coalition work. She partners with local schools such as Aviston, Bartelso and Breese  elementaries along with some schools in Washington County by facilitating a prevention curriculum ( Botvin’s Life Skills) to the middle school age youth.         “The kids are taught decision-making skills, anxiety relief exercises and social skills, as well as some information on substances and their effects on young brains and bodies,” Morrow said. “My goal as the prevention specialist is to help community members, young and old, recognize that there are healthy alternatives to substance use and it’s all about healthy choices and healthy living.”
    Butterfly Dreams Alliance is the new nonprofit service which is the result of six years of research in prevention, recovery, rebuilding, trauma informed care and human trafficking prevention in and around South-Central Illinois.
    “We are recruiting for our Butterfly Dreams Leadership Teens,” McKnight said. “If you want to be a role model for your friends and a safe person for the community, contact Trish McKnight at (618)304-7438 or find us on Facebook (”
    “We look forward to this and many more events with our community members and our local area resources,” she said.

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