Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells presents Marla Ayre and her children Hunter, and Marissa, with the keys to their new home at the Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road project. Photo by Terry Farrell

Elementary students can help Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North through writing contest

Students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 in the Comox Valley and Campbell River can help Habitat for Humanity build homes by writing about what home means to them.

This year’s Meaning of Home contest launched on Jan. 6, with submissions accepted online and by mail until Feb. 21.

Last year, the participation of local youth resulted in a $5,000 grant from Genworth towards Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s build projects in both communities. Participating teachers and students were invited to attend local Habitat key ceremonies, where several students read their entries in front of the audience.

Founded by Genworth Canada in 2007, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $1.5 million dollars towards helping build decent and affordable housing in communities across Canada. Last year, over 8,000

Grades 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada shared what home means to them and this year, Habitat for Humanity Canada is hoping for a record-breaking 10,000 submissions. Three grand prize winners, one from each grade, will receive a $30,000 grant to be directed to the local Habitat build of their choice. Nine runners up, three from each grade, will win a $10,000 grant towards a local Habitat build. Every student entry earns a $10 donation towards that student’s local Habitat for Humanity ensuring that communities benefit from each student’s participation.

“The Meaning of Home contest engages students to think critically about the importance of safe and affordable housing,” said Tom Beshr, Habitat VIN’s director of development. “You’re never too young to give back to the community, and the creativity and thoughtfulness of our local students inspires us every year.”

“The Genworth Canada Meaning of Home contest encourages students to become engaged in the well-being of their community. As a founding sponsor of this contest, we’ve provided over $1.5 million in funding to Habitat for Humanity across Canada, and we have helped to inspire 58,000 students to learn more about the issue of affordable housing,” said Stuart Levings, president and CEO, Genworth Canada.

Teachers or parents who are interested in having their Grade 4, 5 or 6 students participate can also access an educational module online at meaningofhome.ca that includes writing tips and information on affordable housing issues in Canada.

Sign up to get on-going updates and notification of the winners at meaningofhome.ca. Winners of the 2020 Meaning of Home contest will be announced in May.

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