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Woodleaf students join others around the world for exercise

By Sarah Nagem
Salisbury Post
WOODLEAF ó Woodleaf Elementary students and staff did the Macarena dance and jammed to the “YMCA” song Wednesday morning.
It was all a part of staying fit and joining in the effort of Project ACES, which stands for American Children Exercising Simultaneously.
A physical education teacher in New Jersey started the program in 1989 to motivate students across the country to exercise. The idea was that students would want to get moving if they knew other kids were exercising at the same time.
The project gained popularity and spread to other countries. Wednesday was this year’s chosen time.
So as Woodleaf students got their hearts pumping, other students around the world were, too.
Trina Chester, the physical education teacher at Woodleaf, put together the event. Woodleaf has participated for the past three years, she said.
“It’s a way to get everyone together and talk about the importance of exercise,” Chester said.
A visiting pre-school joined the action, as did all the adults in the school.
Even a couple of parents showed up, Chester said.
The exercise session started off with aerobics and then moved to popular dances, like the cha-cha and the chicken dance.
Things slowed down with some stretching exercises, Chester said.
The program showed kids that being active can be a good time, said Susan Herrington, the principal at Woodleaf.
“We want our children to see physical education as fun and exciting,” Herrington said.
That’s because most kids aren’t as active as they should be, Chester said. And they have a physical education class only once a week.
Project ACES encourages students to exercise at 10 a.m. the first Wednesday of May.
The first week of May is Physical Education Week, and May is National Physical Education Month, Chester said.
Contact Sarah Nagem at 704-797-7683 or snagem@salisburypost.com.

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