Meaning of Home

Student writing contest 2021

National Writing Contest for Grades 4, 5 and 6

How can I register for teacher resources?

Go to: website to register to submit your students entries and obtain curriculum toolkit prepared by Habitat for Humanity Canada. 

How can I submit?

Want more info? Contact Melissa Cranston of Habitat Northumberland at 905-396-7402 or at

Submit your entry between January 4 - February 19, 2021

The Meaning of Home contest invites Grades 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada to submit a written poem, essay or video (English or French) explaining what home means to them. There is no cost to enter. Working with founding sponsor Sagen™ (formerly Genworth Canada) since 2007, over 68,000 students have shared what home means to them. Thanks to their inspiring words, and the support of our generous sponsors, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $1.7 million to build homes across Canada for families in need of decent and affordable housing.

It’s a great way for students to engage in an interactive and fun way, and it teaches youth the importance of safe, affordable housing. Each entry results in a $10 donation to a local Habitat and the winner in each grade gets to direct a $30,000 grant to a local Habitat build. Nine runners-up (3 per grade) will also get to direct a $10,000 grant towards a local Habitat build. Additional prizes include an iPad, and class pizza party for each of the grand prize winners.

What is the meaning of home in 2021?

2020 was a year for the books. It was filled with major events and uncertainty and while we would like to be optimistic, 2021 is shaping up to be much the same. But one thing that has remained a constant through this unprecedented time is home. We have spent more time in this place we call home, than ever before. Our home has transformed into an office, a school, and for the lucky, a place of refuge. We’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what home means and there is no doubt your students/children have thought a lot about it too. That’s why this year’s Meaning of Home Contest is all the more relevant and important.

Did you know that in Canada there are an estimated 1.7 million families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing right now? Some families have homes, but they are located in unsafe areas or they are not in adequate condition. Other families have homes, but struggle to make ends meet; sometimes not being able to pay for proper heating or food after paying their rent.

So how can you help?

It’s simple: all you need is a pencil and paper. Write a composition, essay, or poem and tell us what home means to you. When you enter $10 will be donated by Sagen™ (formerly Genworth Canada) to your local Habitat for Humanity. Each grade will have a grand prize winner and three runners-up.


Grand Prize Winner (three total, one per grade) – $30,000 grant each

Each grade winner of the Meaning of Home contest will receive a $30,000 grant to direct to a local Habitat build. In addition to the $30,000 grant, the contest grand prize winners will also receive an iPad and a pizza party for their class.


3 Runner-up Prizes (nine total, three per grade) – $10,000 grant each

Three contest runners-up per grade will receive a $10,000 grant towards a local Habitat build project, an electronic tablet and pizza party for their class.


Your participation will help a family build their home and achieve strength, stability and self-reliance. And $10 per essay will be generously donated by the contest’s founding sponsor, Sagen, to your local Habitat for Humanity for every contest entry submitted. That means that your child’s participation is helping Canadian families access safe, decent and affordable homes that they pay for with a no down payment, interest-free affordable mortgage.