children in classroom writing

Contest winners describe the meaning of home

June 13, 2024 1:58 pm | News

This year, nearly 15,000 grade 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada answered the question, ‘What does home mean to you?’ in our annual Meaning of Home writing contest. All the entries are poignant reminders of the comfort and joy that a safe home creates for a child.

Hannah, the grade 6 grand prize winner from Toronto, writes that every room carries a special meaning — from the scents of the kitchen, to the laughter of the living room.

For Kateryna (Katy), the grade 5 grand prize winner from Hamilton, Ontario home is a sanctuary of hope, where her family is starting a new life in Canada after escaping war.

And Kashvi, the grade 4 grand prize winner from Burlington, Ontario describes home as a place where memories are shared and you can be truly known. You can read Kashvi’s poem, A Home is Not a House, illustrated by Mazie Lovie, a young artist who grew up in a Habitat home.

Everyone who entered earns a $10 donation to their local Habitat for Humanity with their submission. In addition, three grand prize winners receive a $30,000 grant for their local Habitat. Runners-up win a $10,000 grant for their local Habitat.

Through their entries, students have raised $327,000 this year for local Habitat for Humanity organizations, bringing the total raised through the Meaning of Home contest to $2.7 million since its inception in 2007. In Niagara, 356 entries were submitted by local students, resulting in a $3,560 donation to Habitat for Humanity Niagara!

Too many Canadians don’t have access to a safe and affordable home. The Meaning of Home contest is a unique and meaningful way for students to express their creativity, give back to their communities, and raise awareness about the importance of universal access to safe and decent housing.

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of Founding Sponsor SagenTM and Award Sponsor Urban Systems Foundation.

Read all the winning entries.