In The Schools

A.C.E.S. Landmark Exercise Initiative Still Strong After 28 Years

Valley View fifth grade students Caitlin Olensky, Natalie Yu, Ethan Stozenski and Peter Elias led all 420 of their peers in over thirty minutes of non-stop movement.  Credits: Sue Marinello
Valley View fourth grader Tessa Kunkel joined the entire student body on May 4 for the 28th Annual A.C.E.S. (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) event. Credits: Sue Marinello
The entire Valley View student body exercised for over thirty minutes on May 4. (L to R): Lucas Brynczka, Amit Jinka, Nico Calandriello, Rudra Singh and Liam Witkowski. Credits: Sue Marinello

MONTVILLE, NJ - The world’s largest exercise class originated in Montville, New Jersey, twenty-eight years ago. A.C.E.S., All Children Exercise Simultaneously, was created by Valley View Elementary School Physical Education Teacher, Leonard Saunders. Schools all around the globe sign up to unite students in simultaneous exercise.

Conceived as an outdoor activity for schools to engage the entire student body in exercise all at once, Valley View’s 2016 A.C.E.S. event was moved indoors for the third year in a row due to threatening skies. But students and faculty were not deterred.

Fifth grade students Caitlin Olensky, Natalie Yu, Ethan Stozenski and Peter Elias seamlessly led all 420 Valley View Students in just over thirty minutes of non-stop movement. The four had trained since March to prepare for any possibility regarding weather or location. Together the leaders’ shirts spelled out A.C.E.S. However, because of the rainy skies, the student leaders were forced to split apart in order to share leadership responsibilities in two separate but connected venues. Leaders with the letters A. and E. (Linsky and Stozenski) went to the lunch room, while the C. and S. leaders (Yu and Elias) took charge in the gymnasium.

Sign Up for E-News

Excitement was high as Pre-K through second grade filled the lunch room, and grades three to five crowded into the gymnasium.

Superintendent Dr. René Rovtar joined the students for the annual event.

“Millions of children are exercising together today to fight childhood obesity,” Saunders explained before the music and movement began.

Once the music started, Linsky and Stozenski and Yu and Elias took over.

“It was really exciting” said Olensky about leading the school in exercise.

All four agreed that the practice time they had put in since March, with the kindergarten to second grade gym classes, really helped to prepare them.

“It was fun practicing with every class,” said Yu.

“We met two times a week,” added Stozenski. “It was a lot of work but it was fun.”

Elias noted that becoming an A.C.E.S. leader was a surprise. “Mr. Saunders asked if we wanted to do this,” he said, “and I was shocked.”

All four fifth graders now have favorite exercises that they found to be especially exciting to lead. Olensky and Elias like jumping jacks, Yu is a fan of the plank, and Stozenski favors the push up.

“This was the best year yet,” said Saunders following A.C.E.S. 2016. “I could not have asked for four better leaders.”

The enthusiastic elementary physical education teacher explained that for the “first twenty-two years A.C.E.S. was held outside.”

“I never knew what to expect if it came indoors.” added Saunders. “But, now it has been held indoors four or five times, including every year for the past three years, and this year’s team did a great job leading their peers.”

A.C.E.S. is held on the first Wednesday in May every year. In celebration of the twenty-eighth anniversary, Saunders and his students were once again joined by students in schools and other organizations all around the world.

“A.C.E.S is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Valley View Principal Patricia Kennedy. “It is so much fun.”

Saunders, an award winning author of several physical fitness books, is an international expert on keeping kids motivated for exercise. He is the founder of the Youth Fitness Coalition, and author of the acclaimed book, “Keeping Kids Fit.” A.C.E.S. was his first global initiative designed to make a priority of physical fitness. An exercise expert, Saunders also founded “Exercise US,” an October exercise program which begins on the East Coast of the United States and continues west for ten hours. In “Exercise US,” continuous physical movement, shared by thousands of students in many schools, breaks across the nation’s time zones like a wave of exercise.

“A.C.E.S is not just for today,” Saunders told the students at the end of the thirty-minute event. “Exercise is for every day.”

Saunders is already gearing up for the 29th Anniversary. The event will be held on May 3, 2017. Schools and other organizations can sign up at to join Saunders, Valley View Elementary School students and children around the world in the exercise event that originates in Montville, New Jersey.

“If we can encourage just one student in the whole school to begin to exercise daily,” Saunders said, “Then A.C.E.S.  is a success.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, February 20, 4:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Maple Sugaring on the Mountain

Education Food & Drink


Thu, February 22, 7:30 PM

Montville Township Municipal Building , Montville

Planning Board Meeting



Fri, February 23, 1:00 PM

Montville Senior Center, Montville

Walter Choroszewski's "Presidential Scandals of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Towaco Civic Association Scholarship Applications Available

February 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Calling all high school seniors living in Montville Township! It's time to apply for the annual Towaco Civic Association scholarship award. The winning applicant will be selected based on their community service record.

Applications are available at Montville Township High School, or email for information.

The deadline to apply is March ...

Boy Scout Michael Manetta Achieves Eagle Scout Ranking

February 11, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Members of Boy Scout Troop 74 gathered on Jan. 14 as Scout Michael Manetta was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor.

Officials such as members of the Montville Township Committee, the Montville Township Board of Education, former post commander Frank Warholic of VFW Post 5481, Dee Cook, who is treasurer of the Dog Park Advisory Committee and Fishawack ...

2-Hour Delay for Montville Township Public Schools on Thursday

February 7, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Montville Township Public Schools will have a 2-hour delayed opening tomorrow, Feb. 8, according to Superintendent of Schools Rene Rovtar. MEDLC will open at 9 a.m. and buses will run two hours later than usual schedules.

Morris County Prosecutor Appointed to New Jersey Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission

February 15, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - On the morning of Sunday, Feb. 11 2018, Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference at the Messiah Baptist Church in East Orange to announce that he was going to reconvene the New Jersey Criminal Justice Sentencing and Disposition Commission. Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and MCPO Detective Patrick LaGuerre, formerly a member of the East Orange Police ...

Nutley Closes School Due to Security Threat

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department and the Essex County Bomb Unit have finished investigating a security concern.  As a precaution, the school was canceled on Friday after a video was posted to Instagram that suggested a possible threat to schools. Dr. Julie Glazer, Nutley Superintendent of Schools, made the decision late Thursday night to close ...

SRF Has Breedings for Sale

February 19, 2018

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, N.J.— The Standardbred Retirement Foundation has many breedings for sale as of Feb. 13 and anticipates others to become available throughout the season. To access the list, or to donate a breeding and receive a tax deduction for your gift, contact Tammy at 732 446-4422, or via email at

The list of current available breedings can be ...


How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting can have an ...

Ask the Care Advocate

Dear Heidi,

My mom lives home alone and a few days ago she fell while reaching for something

in her hallway closet. She was able to push her emergency alert button and they

called me. I live nearby so I went to check on her and she had pain in her leg and hip

area. We got her to the hospital and it turns out that she broke her hip. She had

surgery to repair it and now we are faced ...

Ask the Care Advocate Your Elder Care Questions Today

MONTVILLE, NJ - TAPinto Montville and LMR Elder Care have announced a new monthly advice column: Ask the Care Advocate.  Heidi Schnapp, Co-founder of LMR Elder Care, utilizes her knowledge and expertise in answering your questions concerning:

Helping aging parents and their ...

Another Luxury Listing in the Pond Section of Montville Presented by Century 21 The Crossing

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 the Crossing and Jason Failla do it again!  Another luxury listing in the Pond section of Montville.

"This new listing has had over 13,000 views in less then a week," Century 21 The Crossing's Jason Failla said. "Anyone can list your home, it takes a comprehensive marketing strategy to sell it!"

"Luxury is in each ...

Century 21 Open Houses

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 presents the following open houses:

Saturday, Jan. 27 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, Jan. 28 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
8 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North Caldwell
12 ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...

Pet Corner