BLS work influences others in the United States

I want to share with our community the influence our school has had on others in the nation.  This past spring I had a conversation with another martial arts instructor who has the same values and beliefs that we have here at Balanced Life Skills.  He wanted to know how to do the Rain Barrel project.  We talked at some length and gave him our rain barrel website.  The following video will show you the results when one of his students took the lead in a major way. 


So here is our challenge.  Who in our school will step up with their own project?  Who will take the lead in contributing to solving a problem in our community or the world?

Business Partner of the Year



Business Partner of the Year Award

Joe Van Deuren, Owner of Balanced Life Skills, was recently selected as Business Partner of the Year to Anne Arundel County Public Schools by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. The award was made at a special dinner held at the BWI Marriott Hotel. Joe was nominated by Linda Lamon, Signature Program Facilitator of South River High School where he serves on the business advisory board. She says, “Mr. Joe is a part of our school and our lives. His goal is to make life better through his years of business and life skills by giving to others and he has developed many programs to help educators as a way to celebrate their commitment to education and appreciate their work. We were proud to nominate him for this award.” Continue reading “Business Partner of the Year”

Martial Arts school in Annapolis, Balanced Life Skills, Rain Barrel Project is underway

For the third year in a row now we will be holding our Where Does the Rain Go? awareness day and silent auction of decorated rain barrels.  This year is very special in that we have many schools and artist involved as well as our own Balanced Life Skills students sharing in the fun of decorating the rain barrels.
To see how the paint day went at our studio at Balanced Life Skills, here is the link Rain Barrel Paint day 09.
This is one of the most fun days.  Kids get to enjoy being creative and both parents and students learn about the need to get all of our storm water to infiltrate the earth.  Rain barrels are just one way.  This year our education program will take part in Earth Day celebrations at Quiet Water Park with some of the barrels on display.  The following week the barrels will be displayed around our area at various locations prior to the silent auction on May 15.
Follow our progress and visit us at Quiet Waters on April 18th for more information on rain barrels.

Rain Barrel Event is coming up!

This years Where Does the Rain Go? event is off to a fast start.  We are inviting more schools and artists to be involved.  To lessen the load on some of our parents who have the past two years spent an extraordinary amount of time on the preparation, we are requesting that some of our students and their parents take part in the preparations.
I am looking for parents / students from each age level to take one rain barrel and do the prep work.  You can see the preparation steps on the Rain Barrel web site.  This year we will be doing the actual painting and decorating on April 4 at 10 AM at our Balanced Life Skills studio.
This year, we are working on getting the barrels in the public eye by asking local businesses to display the finished product with information about the auction during earth week.  We are also hoping to display some of them at Quiet Waters during their Earth Day festivities.  Then the actual auction will take place on May 15th at 6:00 PM at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center and all the proceeds will be split between the participating schools and Arlington Echo.
If you want to see the completed video it is on the website also and is available to schools for free on DVD, along with a complete package of worksheets, crossword puzzles, word searches and other resources for the teachers and schools.

Rain Barrel awareness at Leadership AA

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of sharing a few minutes with Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship class of 2009 at their Environmental Day.  It was being held at Arlington Echo with the wonderful staff there helping out and some great speakers.  One of the artist who has participated in our Rain Barrel event from the very beginning had provided us with a beautiful painted barrel that we auctioned off.
We were able to announce the following:

  • In 2009 we are expanding our program to involve more schools including Rolling Knolls Elementary.

  • Our auction and awareness day will be held at Arlington Echo.

  • All of the proceeds of the auction will benefit Arlington Echo and their education efforts.

One more note on this project.  Recently we were able to assist the Children’s Museum of Washington DC to do some painted barrels that were part of the Green Expo on November 8,9 at the convention center in DC.   They have offered to partner with us on creating barrels in 2009 and we will be working together on bringing this program to Prince George’s County Schools.

May Announcements

Word of the Month is Compassion

April 30, May 1 Stripe testing / Journals due

May 3 Where Does the Rain Go? Rain Barrel Event @ Merrill Center 2 PM This will be a wonderful benefit to our awareness and to help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Decorated rain barrels will be available in a silent auction and the debut of a video of our students learning about stormwater management at home.
May 14, 15 Stripe testing / Journals due Please be sure to bring your journal to class these days
May 17 Belt Testing
May 26 BLS Closed Memorial Day
June 6, 7 Student Art Show
June 10 BLS Closed Instructors will be out of town