Lighthouse Christian School in Southport is holding its annual convention this week. It's part of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) system and students look forward to competing every year in preparation for the International Student Convention in the USA.

Director of student conventions Joe Wurtz says it started at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and runs until Friday evening.

"This is our Prairie Regional Student Convention. We have schools from as far as northern British Columbia, Alberta, and in Manitoba," says Wurtz. "There are no Saskatchewan schools this year, but we have competition for ages  8 years old all the way to 18 years old. That means there's going to be some singing, running, table tennis, and some chess and checkers. There's going to be some static events where students have the opportunity to do woodworking, photography, colouring pages for the younger kids, and drawing for the older kids."

Wurtz says this has been an annual event for over 20 years in Manitoba as well as in Alberta, Ontario, and the Maritimes.

"This is a qualification for any of those schools that want to venture into the US where we have an annual International Student Convention where we're seeing anywhere from 1500 to 3000 students come from around the world, and compete in the same events that they qualified for here at the local region."

That international gathering takes place May 13-14 in North Carolina.

ACELighthouse Christian School in Southport

Wurtz adds one year, they planned to take advantage of the international theme and hold a convention in Thailand, but then COVID hit.

"We believe this is one of the highlights of our school year for the students that are using the ACE program," adds Wurtz. "You know, we work hard at building character all year long and giving the students opportunity to use those gifts and talents that God has given them. It's just a wonderful time of exploring those gifts and talents, and practicing. It's not just the competition, but the fact that they get to rub shoulders with students from other provinces, being in schools of similar format and operation, and it really encourages them. I know that students who have graduated a long time ago still keep in touch with students and friends that they've made at the convention. Our motto is 'Where else can one week last a lifetime?' and that is so true."