The Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) Convention took place last week in Southport. Field manager and convention director for A.C.E. Canada Joe Wurtz says their annual event is now over its 20th anniversary and is an opportunity for their elementary students through to high school students to exercise an opportunity to showcase the skills they've developed.

"Some have a natural ability, and we're talking anything from any type of platform dramatic effort to music, chess, and checkers. We just came back from the track events," says Wurtz.

He notes no new schools took part this year, but a school from Austin came by and visited them to see check things out.

"They're getting quite excited about the possibility of coming next year," notes Wurtz. "They've had a school in Austin for well over 15 years and different leaderships didn't see the need to participate. But the new feel that the kids would find it fun and exciting to come and compete. Once they win here, potentially the high school kids, not the elementary, have a possibility of going to an international student convention this year in Warrensburg, MO, where we'll have students from all over the world come and participate."

WurtzJoe Wurtz

He explains everyone who qualifies at their regionals, per se, will come and compete at an international level and we can have schools throughout not only the US and Canada, but Japan, Mexico, and the Philippines -- countries from all over the place that will come. A.C.E. is having a birthday of 55 years and I believe we're in about 140 countries. Not all of them get represented at a student convention but many of them work hard and they plan to come." 

An awards ceremony took place Friday for those who placed in the top three. A banquet followed. 

"It's a highlight for the kids," adds Wurtz. "They fundraise and work all year long for these three days and for the older kids that go on to the international, they work all year long to prepare for these events. It's just an exciting time for them. Once they get their feet wet, and come to one convention, the excitement builds. There are so many events that they can do on their own but there are also many events in which they can bring their classmates. It's well worth every effort that we can put in to make it happen for them."