Fayette County Soil
Water Conservation District







Preserving and conserving our natural resources can be as simple as using www.goodshop.com when you shop online. Goodshop is a free fund raising program that wonít cost you time or money, but will raise money for Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District while giving you access to thousands of online coupons and promotions. Goodshop is a portal through which you reach and shop at your favorite retail sites. With every purchase you make, including items such as Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and apparel from Kohls, Goodshop will donate up to 20% of what you spend. Support us by clicking on the logo to sync us for donation or by signing up ! We appreciate it!

Once in a while everyone needs a little help with school. So here are some some links that might be of help. And some helpful tips that may be of use to the frustrated parents. Trust me I have been there or should I say I am still there only now I am dealing with a college student. This page is everything from homework through getting to the sites for college grants and loans, which everyone can use. I really hope this help!

www.BibMe.com - All you have to to is type in the title or author's name of the book, magazine or newspaper article or website that you cited. Then watch as the site did all the appropriate formatting to create a neat and detailed bibliography.  Why sacrifice a good grade.

www.Cramster.com - Students at the high school and college level can cyber-study together in this well-designed social network built around learning math and math-based subjects like calculus, statistics, chemistry and engineering. Kids can connect virtually with peers from their real-world class or from around the world and pick up pointers from teachers, parents and others who are knowledgeable about the subjects. They can also post queries to Q & A board and access study study guides and step by step for solving problems.

www.Evernote.com - If the most-often-asked question in your house if "Where's my homework?" your student needs a system for storing papers, ideas and web research. Sign him up at Evernote and he can scan, photograph or cut and paste everything he needs to remember, and store it on the site. To find a document, just search for any word in the document. Say he got an A on his biology homework and wants to save it to study for an upcoming test. Instead of leaving it on the the kitchen table, he could scan it (or take a photo of it with his cell phone or laptop web camera) and send it to Evernote. When he want it again, he just searches for "biology" (or any other word in the doc) and there it is.

www.livemocha.com - The best way to learn another language it total immersion - and that's the idea behind this innovative social-network-meets-language class site. Sign up to learn one of 26 foreign tongues in a series of visual, fun, multimedia classes. When you complete a lesson, another member - perhaps in native speaker - corrects your grammar and offers accent tips.

www.scholar.google.com - To skip potentially unreliable sources when using almighty Google search engine, opt for Google scholar. Instead of scouring the entire Web for answers, it checks only scholarly works; papers, books and articles for academic publishers, professional societies, universities and other similar organizations.

www.MyCollegeCalendar.org - If the question on your student's mind or yours is about getting into college, go here. Starting in their freshman year of high school, teens can learn what they need to do and how to do it; when and how to file applications, how to write applications essays and where to get financial aid and scholarships. Just tell the wizard what grade a student is in and what college they are considering and it will set up a calendar to adhere to.

www.TheFreeDictionary.com - Used to be that looking stuff up in the dictionary was kind of a drag. Not anymore - with this site, you can scan definitions, hear correct pronunciations so you don't embarrass yourself in a conversation and get dozens of translations. You can even play hangman or enter a cyber spelling bee.

www.WolframAlpha.com - Remember those old Star Trek episodes, when Spock would inquire, "Computer, what are our current coordinates?" or some other difficult question? And the computer would instantly respond with exactly the right computation, data or historical perspective. That's the idea here. Built on a scientific calculation software platform called Mathematica (industry's gold standard), this site can answer any math problem - but will table nonmath queries as well. Ask what happened on this date in history. Enter the name of a town and get back a slew of related facts. Request the birth date of someone famous. It's pretty brilliant.

www.homeworkhelp.com - This site cost about $30 a month unless the school or your local library has  an account. You can get a one day free pass to check out the site. Then you will have to have a password to enter again. So, check with your school to see if they already have a membership.

www.tutorvista.com - I'm not sure how good this site is but it has pretty good reviews from some of the parents that I spoke to. I included it in this article just in case someone else would want to try it. Please give me some feedback on this site so I know whether to leave it on or not. I don't want to have a site listed that is not going to help the kids.

www.refdesk.com/homework.html - This site references about anything from K-College.

www.studentquestions.com - This site is very unique. If you like to give help instead of getting help this site is for you. You can go online and get paid to help other students. Check it out!

www.ipl.org/div/kidspace - (Illinois Public Library) An exhaustive roundup of educational links, developed colleges and universities, complete with homework help sections. Including links to projects for science fair ideas with instructions.

www.factmonster.com - From the folks at Information Please/Pearson Education comes an attractive, easy to navigate reference site. Flash cards, multiplication tables, history timelines, biographies of U.S. Presidents, etc. everything is there.

www.kidinfo.com - Created by retired teacher Linda Guterba, this site categorizes links according to the curriculum covered in most schools. You can find online atlases, dictionaries and encyclopedias.

www.math.com/parentshelpyourkids.html - From the basic addition and subtraction to ratios, algebra and geometry, it takes you through the steps of finding a solution.

www.kids.nationalgeographic.com - Take a virtual tour of the natural world, including its people and places, flora and fauna. When your third-grader asks you the name of the red-eyed tree frog you can go here for the answer.

www.bjpinchbeck.com - The site was created by a 9-year old and his dad in about 1996 to help kids with their homework and they are still offering over 800 updated links to subject matters from art to social studies. You'll also find a link to studygs.net, that can help your child with time management and other learning skills.

"Note Taking Tips for Students"

http://www.recordnations.com/articles/record-keeping-students.php  - Lecturers assume that their listeners know how to take good notes before they begin their presentation. Students who do not know effective note-taking strategies suffer from a disadvantage over those who do. The majority of students do not know the correct way to take notes. In fact, many of them think note-taking is a waste of time. On the contrary, note-taking makes life a lot easier to handle when it comes time to take big tests and write term papers. Good note-taking helps people recall information they may have otherwise forgotten. It also helps listeners to stay focused on the material taught in class. In turn, this creates better students.

Foodday.org - I found this really cool website that promotes and celebrates the movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. And best of all it is set up for the purpose of getting kids more involved with growing, harvesting and cooking of the foods. As most of us know the more kids get involved with what they eat more variety of foods they are likely to try and hopefully enjoy. So, it is our goal that everyone from parents, to school personnel, to the local communities all work together to assist with the education of our youth about food. At all stages of where it comes from and how it affects our bodies. Hopefully this will reverse at least a portion of the obese statistics, as well as, those that we have on the number of children the remain hungry each day. Please go check out the website and get a few ideas on how to get your child more involved in what they are eating.

Checklist for Helping Your Child With

Taken from www.ed.gov

1. Show That You Think Education and Homework Are


___ Do you set a regular time every day for homework?

___ Does your child have the papers, books, pencils and other things needed to do assignments?

___ Does your child have a well-lit, fairly quiet place to study?

___ Do you set a good example by showing your child that the skills he is learning are an important 
        part of the things he will do as an adult?

___ Do you stay in touch with your childís teacher?

2. Monitor Assignments

___ Do you know what your childís homework assignments are? How long they should take?
         How the teacher wants you to be involved in them?

___ Do you see that your child starts and completes assignments?

___ Do you read the teacherís comments on assignments that are returned?

___ Is TV viewing or video game playing cutting into your childís homework time?

3. Provide Guidance

___ Do you help your child to get organized? Does your child need a schedule or assignment book?
        A book bag or backpack and a folder for papers?

___ Do you encourage your child to develop good study habits (for example, scheduling enough time
        for big assignments; making up practice tests)?

___ Do you talk with your child about homework assignments? Does she understand them?

4. Talk with Teachers to Resolve Problems

___ Do you meet with the teacher early in the year before any problems arise?

___ If a problem comes up, do you meet with the teacher?

___ Do you cooperate with the teacher to work out a plan and a schedule to solve homework problems?

___ Do you follow up with the teacher and with your child to make sure the plan is working?

5. Testing Resources available  
There was a site that was brought to my attention by a group of students the online prep group is called
Veritas Prep. According to them it is an excellent site for test prep so go check it out. Hopefully you have as good of luck as they did with the site.  The website link is: http://www.veritasprep.com/online-reference-for-test-preparation/

College Assistance

I know that parents not only have to worry about helping their kids get from grade thru high school but they also have to worry about college so I am including a few of the sites that we put in our newsletter a year or so ago, plus some loans and scholarships that students can apply for that are available locally. Hopefully this will help parents out as well.

www.fafsa.ed.gov -Go to What are my options to get all the explanations before you start. Then make sure that you have your tax return for the year before you start fill out the form. This site applies you for several grants all at one time so make sure that you read the grants that is applies to.

www.ed.gov - This is also a good site to check out for possible eligible grants.

www.edfund.org - This is the next one that I think is one to really check out. Go to my child in college link.

Ella G. McKee Foundation Loans - Mrs. McKee was a Fayette County resident who chose to bequeath a large sum of money to establish an on going program whereby qualified people could obtain a post-high school education. Mrs. McKee directed that the income be used "solely for educational purposes and no other." The first loan was made in December, 1971. Mrs. McKee has created an opportunity for serious students to broaden their horizons, to develop abilities, and to live more fulfilling lives.

Qualified applicants must have been residents of Fayette County for at least four years prior to the date of applying for financial assistance, and must be without adequate funds or sources to meet the costs of securing a college, university, or other form of post-high school education.

This assistance is in the form of an interest-free loan, with only the principal needing to be repaid. The Foundation is administered by the First National Bank in Vandalia.
If you have any other grants that you feel should be added to the website please let me know.

Golda Shulman Scholarship - this scholarship is awarded to a gradating Vandalia high school student each spring. This is a $1,000 per year, renewable scholarship.

Douglas R. Rames Scholarship - This is a $1,000 one time award to a graduating Vandalia student each spring. This award will be bestowed upon the high school senior who exemplifies the person traits and character of Dr. Doug Rames (who graduated in (1971).

Patoka American Legion Post #543 Scholarship - This provides two $500 scholarships to a graduating senior who is either a child or grandchild of a member of the Edgard R. Rogier Post # 543. If there is not such applicant, the scholarship may then be awarded to an applicant who is a graduating senior at Patoka high School.

The recipient of a one-year scholarship who maintains at least a C average may apply for a second-year scholarship.

Charles Evans Scholarship - The Charles Evans Fund provides a $500 scholarship to a Vandalia High School graduate. The applicant must live in or within ten miles of the city of Vandalia. Also must have a genuine financial need and display exceptional scholastic ability.

Hazel Simma-Kelly Restricted Fund - Mrs. Kelly generously provided funding to establish educational scholarship for Fayette county residents who seek education beyond high school. She expressed an overriding belief in the importance of education to both the individual and the community, together with a desire to help those who wished to continue their education.

Up to $2,000 multiple awards are given annually. These are renewable upon maintaining a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (B-minus average). Applicant must be a resident of Fayette County for at least one calendar year prior to application.

Mary Peyton Meyer VCS Scholarship - Mrs. Meyer was a long time educator in Fayette County. Upon her death, she bequeathed funds to provide for an annual scholarship to be given to a VCHS gradating senior who intends to pursue a career in education. The first award will be given for the Fall term, 2010.

Thomas J. Epplin Scholarship - Applicant must be a high school graduate or current high school senior at Pickneyville High School, Pickneyville, Illinois, St. Anthony High School, Effingham, Illinois, or Vandalia High School, Vandalia, Illinois. this scholarship is awarded annually to dental hygiene, pre-dental, dental students. At least one scholarship will be given each year. Applicants may reapply in subsequent years if maintaining at least a "B" average.

VFW Post #3862 Scholarship Fund - This is a $1,000 scholarship awarded annually to a child or grandchild of a VFW Post #3862 member. If there is no such applicant, the scholarship may then be awarded to an applicant who is a Fayette County Resident.

The applicant must possess and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C Average).


Check back for updates!

301 South Third Street
Vandalia,  IL  62471
618-283-1095 ext. 3
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Karen Sanders - fayettecountyswcd@att.net
Tony Pals - tony.pals@il.nacdnet.net