In my role as Enrichment teacher (in addition to my two-day per week Kindergarten position), I told students about a writing contest called “The Meaning of Home.” This was open to Canadian students in Grades 4, 5, and 6 and was sponsored by a financial company. Children could write a poem or original story about what “home” means to them, or what they love most about their homes.
The difference of this contest is that each entry would result in the sponsoring company donating $5 to a Habitat for Humanity project closest to where the entrant lives. I explained to the students a little about this wonderful organization, which builds homes using donated materials and volunteer labour. Families who apply to receive a home must put in 500 hours of their own labour and buy the home at a rate they can afford to pay monthly.
Yes, there are prizes for the best entries, but each student is rewarded with greater awareness of the issue of families in need of homes and gratitude for his or her own dwelling and its inhabitants. Another bonus is that I will take the 15+ students who took the time to submit something on a walking trip and tour of a Habitat project close to the school.