WHAT IS PROJECT ACES?
Each May, on the 1st Wednesday at 10:00a.m., 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". 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. Project ACES has reached millions of children, parents and teachers all over the world, including participants from over 50 countries.
WHEN IS THIS YEAR'S WORLDWIDE EVENT?
The 35th annual global event will occur at 10 AM local time, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. It will be celebrated during May which is National Physical Fitness & Sports month. Due to the mass participation of this event, there is plenty of room for flexibility concerning the start time of Project ACES. The majority of schools that participate are able to start their exercises at exactly 10 AM. It is understandable that some schools may not be able to start at 10 AM due to scheduling problems, programs, state testing, or even inclement weather. Rarely, some schools may even have to do Project ACES on a different day. This is not a problem as long as the children understand the concept of the day and feel a connection to the event!
WHY DO WE HAVE PROJECT ACES?
Project ACES aims to educate children about the importance of lifelong fitness and end the negative stereotype that children are physically unfit. Exercise can lower the chances of coronary heart disease, which includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and physical inactivity. Project ACES makes fitness fun!
WHAT DO CHILDREN DO DURING PROJECT ACES?
On May 3, 2023 at 10 AM, all the children will either exercise, walk, jog, bike, dance, do aerobics, or a combination or all the above. Each school organizes its own participation assembly for the 15-45 minutes the program runs. There is no specific routine to follow, just have the children do some form of exercise at 10 AM. Feel free to be as creative as you would like. Many schools choose to invite local celebrities to the event and play music to accompany the activities. Organizers of local events can choose to get the whole school involved, or just selected classes. The majority of schools will get the entire school population outside on to a play field, put on music, and have everyone in the school have some fun by moving and exercising together. If it rains, have a backup plan. Some schools have the student body go to the gym and do aerobics and calisthenics. Another option if it rains is to pump music over the PA system, and have the classes exercise in their classrooms. Invite the local media to cover the event. The children will love to see themselves in the newspapers or on TV.
If it rains, have a backup plan. Some schools have the student body go to the gym and do aerobics and calisthenics. Another option if it rains is to pump music over the PA system, and have the classes exercise in their classrooms. Invite the local media to cover the event. The children will love to see themselves in the newspapers or on TV. Proclamations from the Mayor's and/or Governor's office may also be read. IDEAS
IDEAS TO MAKE THE PROGRAM FUN AND EASY
- JUMP ROPE: include 5 minutes of rope jumping to bring focus to this kind of activity.
- USE MUSIC: Have the students suggest music they would like to exercise to or bring a wide variety
- INVOLVE THE ENTIRE BUILDING: Have each teacher plan something for their class to do. Give suggestions.
- RUN THE PROGRAM OUTSIDE: More space but have some rainy activities planned just in case.
- MAKE USE OF THE MEDIA/PRESS IN YOUR AREA: This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your program.
- HAVE TWO HOMEROOMS GO TOGETHER FOR THE ACTIVITIES: This gets more students involved.
- For more information, activities and handouts: go to the Projects ACES website at http://lensaunders.com/aces.
This is not just an activity for the elementary schools. There have been middle, junior and senior high schools that have participated in ACES over the past years. Be creative and encourage all of your staff to get involved. You will be surprised at the great activities some classes come up with. The main idea is to focus on fitness and fun.
Information about other activities related to Project ACES, PACES (Parent and child exercising simultaneously) and the
Project ACES club are located on the Project ACES website at http://lensaunders.com/aces.
Be a part of an international event at your school. Just get your whole school to celebrate physical activity at the same time and post your pictures. Let us know you plan on being a part of the event by registering.