By Cady Corman
Submitted to Black Press
Habitat for Humanity’s Meaning of Home contest encourages Grades 4, 5, and 6 students to write a poem or essay about what home means to them to help raise money for local Habitat build projects.
Myra Wilson’s Grade 5 class at Huband Park Elementary in Courtenay decided to take this a step further.
After participating in the Meaning of Home as a classroom, and learning more about what Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) does in the community, the students worked with Wilson to brainstorm ideas about how they could impact their school and community.
They decided to hold a fundraiser for Habitat VIN, selling ‘Valentine’s Candy Grams’ to their fellow students for $1 each. This raised $1,001.00, which will go towards Habitat’s affordable housing projects in the Comox Valley. In addition, each essay or poem they submitted to the contest will result in a $10 donation on behalf of the contest’s sponsor Sagen.
One of the goals of the Meaning of Home contest is to instill the importance of access to safe and decent housing early on, to prepare students to be future advocates on this critical issue. The response from Wilson’s class went beyond the expectations of Habitat VIN’s team.
“The compassion and ingenuity shown by these students is inspiring to all of us. It goes to show that when you educate youth about social issues, they will be the ones to drive change in our community,” said Pat McKenna, Habitat VIN’s executive director.
There is still time to enter the Meaning of Home contest, which closes on Feb. 19 at 8:59 p.m. PST. Teachers or parents who are interested in having their Grade 4, 5 or 6 students participate can access an educational module and submit their entry online at meaningofhome.ca. Winners of the 2021 Meaning of Home contest will be announced in June 2021, and the grand prize winners of each grade will receive a $30,000 grant to direct to the local Habitat home build of their choice.