Courtenay student’s poem will help to build home

Grade 5 student Annelies Henckel's explanation of what home means to her earned and money for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North.

GRADE 5 ÉCOLE PUNTLEDGE Park student Annelies Henckel

What does home mean to you?

Grade 5 École Puntledge Park student Annelies Henckel’s explanation of what home means to her earned her an honour to remember — and money for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North.

Henckel’s poem, Love in my Home, was named one of five runner-up pieces in Genworth Financial Canada’s sixth annual national writing contest, The Meaning of Home.

Henckel received an iPod for herself and a pizza party for her entire class, but the local Habitat affiliate, Vancouver Island North, will also receive $5,000 thanks to Henckel’s poem about home.

“Home is like a flood of feelings; It rushes out like the wind; Blowing peace towards me; Home is a quiet and peaceful space; Like sitting by a fountain; In a lovely garden,” says Henckel in her poem.

“Home is a place where you get new ideas; Where joy, fun and love really matter; Home challenges ourselves; I have boundaries, rules and responsibilities; That teach me what I need to know…”

Genworth will give $5,000 to the Habitat affiliate in each runner-up’s area, and the grand prize winner, a Grade 6 student in Winnipeg, earned a whopping $50,000 for her local Habitat organization.

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Thomas Beshr says this is the first year a Comox Valley student has placed in the competition, noting Annelies should feel proud of her accomplishment.

“It’s quite competitive,” he explains. “There’s 5,000 kids across Canada that applied last year (fall of 2012) so it’s quite an accomplishment that Annelies made it to runner-up.”

Habitat also received $5 for each student who entered the contest, and there were 70 entries from Grade 4 to 6 students at École Puntledge Park and École Robb Road elementary schools, adding another $350 to the total.

“This is great because it just furthers building homes for families in the community and it’s heartwarming to see that the kids in the Valley are taking ownership in that and participating,” continues Beshr.

“I’m hoping that this will be an ongoing effort with School District 71, and 72 in Campbell River, and that this is the launch of a great annual campaign.”

The money from Genworth will go towards The House the Kids Built, an initiative in which local musician Joey Clarkson and Habitat are encouraging schools to help fundraise $100,000 towards one of the six Habitat homes being built on Piercy Avenue in Courtenay.

Henckel says it’s “awesome” her poem earned $5,000 for the initiative, and she was really surprised when she found out her poem was a runner-up, adding it all started with a brainstorming session in class.

“I just wrote all the words that I thought meant to me, as a home, and then I created that (points to the poem) — so I ticked off each word as I went,” she said, smiling as she adds the poem turned out longer than she had expected. “I had a lot of words.”

For more information on the contest or to view Annelies Henckle’s poem visit

For more information on The House the Kids Built visit

Just Posted

Hamir brings agriculture to the Comox Valley Regional District forefront

Air quality also high on priority list for new Area B director

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Explosion at homeless camp causes brush fire on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews haul hundreds of metres of hose down ravine

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Most Read