MONTVILLE, NJ – If you picked up the September issue of Family Circle magazine, you might have been surprised to see Valley view teacher Len Saunders’ name in the article about reducing anxiety for the coming school year.

Saunders, a teacher for 34 years, is an author and the creator of ACES (all children exercise simultaneously), an exercise program to fight childhood obesity.

When Family Circle author Leslie Pepper contacted him to ask what he thought would make children feel more comfortable with starting a new school year at the elementary level, he recommended shopping for a cool new lunch box or backpack to get children excited. He also recommended visiting the student’s new classroom if the school principal will allow it.

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“I remember new students touring with the principal and I try to make them feel comfortable,” he said. “I would talk to the kids about their lunch box and try to get them excited.”

Saunders says he gets a big kick out of the first day of school when so many kids come up to him and want to show them their new shoes.

“Whether they light up, or they sparkle, or not, the kids run up to me and are so excited to show me their new shoes,” he said with a laugh.