Tag Archives: Project ACES

Project ACES

project aces

In 1989, Project ACES began in Montville, New Jersey.  The acronym stands for All Children Exercise Simultaneously.  According to Wikipeida, it is often called, “the world’s largest exercise class.”  This project was initiated by Physical Education Teacher Len Saunders.  The goal was to get one school in every state to exercise at the same time on a specific day in May, to help motivate his own classes to exercise and to emphasize the value of Physical Education in school.  It started out as a small initiative but now, Project ACES is a world-wide event.


Each May, on a designated date and time, millions of school children all over the globe will exercise simultaneously in a symbolic gesture of fitness and unity to show the world that they do not fit into that negative stereotype of being “physically unfit”. This non-competitive program has proven to be educational, motivational, and fun. When Len Saunders created Project ACES back in 1989, he had no idea that it would reach the magnitude and success of today. The program has been praised by Presidents of the United States; such as Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan. The program has also received praise from Governors, Senators, and celebrities from sports and show business. Starting its 26th year, Project ACES has reached millions of children, parents and teachers all over the world, including participants from over 50 countries.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and today was Global Project Aces!  At ten o’clock all around the world, participating schools joined together for between 15-45 minutes to do some sort of physical activity.  Unfortunately, due to the time conflicting with New Jersey state testing, we could not go out at that time.  Instead, we all went out at two o’clock and participated with students in the Pacific Time Zone 🙂  Over 600 students, along with the faculty, administrators, staff and parents gathered on the black top.  Our fabulous Physical Educators, Ted Panayoutou and Noelle Sullivan were there to lead us in a non-competitive, fun half-hour filled with great music, dancing and exercising.  Student ambassadors were chosen to lead as well.

The weather was perfect.  The sun was shining.  It was a perfect Spring afternoon.  The laughter could be heard from all around.  Once again, Tuscan School came together in a big way and showed just how great of a community it is!


Let’s Move Active Schools

take care of body

This is my 6th year teaching at Tuscan School.  It is my 16th year of teaching overall.  I can honestly say that it was one of my favorite days ever.  Tuscan has always been a very active and physical school.  The students have Phys Ed twice a week and recess everyday.  Teachers give “brain breaks”, which are moments of movement throughout the day to keep the students stimulated, focused and on task.  We do not having school buses at our school, as it is a neighborhood school so this year, a “walking school bus” was launched.  http://www.walkingschoolbus.org/  (A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults).

This week, we found out that our school was chosen to be photographed for The Let’s Move Active Schools Campaign.  It was quite exciting to be chosen.  Our town is known for it’s diversity and perhaps that is one of the reasons.  There are six elementary schools in our district and atmosphere and positive energy is apparent at all of them.  I know that they also looked at the facade of the school when choosing where to do the photos.  Tuscan School is nearly 100 years old and the Tudor style of the school adds to its charm.  I have no idea why Tuscan was chosen, I just know that it was exciting for us!

Let’s Move! Active Schools is a comprehensive program that empowers school champions – P.E. teachers, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and parents – to create active environments that enable all students to get moving and reach their full potential.  http://www.letsmove.gov/active-schools  Started by First Lady, Michelle Obama the Let’s Move! Active Schools program began to help schools across the country make quality physical activity a part of every kid’s day.  After reading more about the program, I learned that, “It is an unprecedented effort to bring physical education back to America’s schools. The problem is severe — we are raising the most sedentary generation in history. Only six states require P.E. in all grades, and only one in three kids is physically active on a daily basis”.

Early this morning, photographers showed up to join the Walking School Buses and take pictures along the routes.  They spent the entire day at the school, going in and out of classrooms, the gymnasium, the cafeteria and on the playground.  There is always a lot of energy at Tuscan School, but today, the school spirit was even more evident!  My class was one of the classrooms that was visited and as they danced to The Razzama Tazzama song, by Peter and Ellen Allard the kids could barely contain their excitement.  One of the girls in my class told me she felt like she was a model in a photo shoot!!  A fifth grade class was doing Zumba.  Second graders were chanting their word wall words with body movement.  All of these activities are going on during most days at school, but today the excitement brought it to a different level.

My favorite part of the day was when we did a “Project ACES” on the playground.  (Project ACES is usually celebrated in May, to kick off National Fitness Month – I wrote about in another blog, that coincidentally happened to be on another fun day, my birthday,  https://aprojectforkindness.wordpress.com/tag/project-aces/ ).  The whole school was out on the playground dancing and exercising together.  Parents and teachers were joining in as photographers were weaving in and out of the groups of children snapping photos.

At the end of the day, our Physical Education teacher was beaming as she talked about the positive energy that was flowing through the school.  Our principal was radiant and said that she felt like she was “in the clouds” as she told us about the praises and compliments the photographers were giving her about the students of Tuscan School.  It is just another reason that help to validate why I love my job so much.  I have written before how fortunate I am to be able to wake up everyday and go somewhere that I love, with families, coworkers and students who make Tuscan, not just a school, but a community.  Today, just confirmed this for me even more.

My Own Birthday

happy birthday to me

After several days of celebrating other family members’ birthdays, by the time it gets to mine, we are all sort of “birthday’d out”.  Today, though, was a really great day.  It started out kind of sad.  My mom ALWAYS, (since I was a little girl), sang her own version of “Happy Birthday” to me first thing in the morning.  She did it for all of us – DJ mentioned how much he missed it yesterday too. But my day got so much better…

I went to work and was greeted with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers.  Each student in my class brought me flowers and we put them all together to create quite a spectacular creation!  I attached a picture, it is just so pretty!

My co-kindergarten teachers celebrated with a special pie at lunch.  I love my team!!!

The beautiful weather was a great gift.  After these long dreary days, it was finally spring-like!  The whole school celebrated “Project ACES”, where “all children exercise simultaneously” around the country.  We were all out on the playground to start off physical fitness month.  So much fun!!

Hundreds of facebook birthday wishes and messages throughout the day were great to read through.

Drew had a baseball game, and although they did not win, but he had a few good plays in the field and pitched a great last inning for the team.  After the game my dad, brothers, Dave, the boys and I, went to my favorite restaurant, The Reservoir for salads and pizza, (my favorite), they even had a gluten free pie for me!  I came home to yummy gluten free cupcakes that Dave picked up during the day.  (Still not sure how long this gluten thing will last….but I am trying).

The day ended with a message from my Aunt Dale, singing me “Happy Birthday” just like my mom always did.  I don’t think I could have imagined a better way of spending my day.  I am grateful for everyone who helped to make it so wonderful!