Young poets raise $10K for Habitat for Humanity Yukon

Elijah Smith Elementary Grade 6 students Kiawna Leas and Samara Jacob were selected as runner-ups in the 11th annual Meaning of Home contest, winning $5,000 each to give to Habitat for Humanity Yukon.

Poems describe Grade 6 students' homes and memories they have created

Kiawna Leas and Samara Jacob won $5,000 each to give to Habitat for Humanity Yukon. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Elijah Smith Elementary School teacher Robin Fairburn was thrilled her class raised $170 in entries for writing poems, entered into a national writing contest 

Then, two of her Grade 6 students, Kiawna Leas and Samara Jacob, made it further — their poems made it into the top ten.

'They’re absolutely thrilled that they were able to do this. This would be many many cupcake sales and because of their fine writing skills We raised this huge amount of money,' says Elijah Smith grade six teacher Robin Fairburn. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

"They're absolutely thrilled that they were able to do this," said Fairburn.

"This would be many, many, cupcake sales and because of their fine writing skills, we raised this huge amount of money."

The poems were entered into the 11th annual "Meaning of Home" contest, put on by Genworth Canada. About 7,000 entries came in from across the country.

Leas and Jacob each won a $5,000 grant from Genworth Canada, to provide to Habitat for Humanity's Yukon branch.

Poems about little brother, birthdays

Jacob wrote her poem about her busy family life and a little brother who she loves.

"I never knew that I would be one of those people to win, but it feels good," said Jacob.

She said it was the first time she had written poetry.  

Leas said she learned a lot more about the need for Habitat for Humanity.

"I learned how important it was to donate all this money to people who don't have enough money to buy their own houses," she said.

Leas wrote a poem about family, birthdays, anniversaries, potlatches and countless celebrations.

Two students from Elijah Smith elementary School Kiawna Leas and Samera Jacob poems were chosen for the top ten entries. Both students have won a $5000.00 grant each from Genworth Canada, to provide to Habitat for Humanity Yukon Branch. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Genworth Canada is the largest residential mortgage insurer in Canada.

It started the "Meaning of Home" contest in 2007 for students in Grades 4 to 6 to write about what home means to them.

Over the years, it has provided over $1 million to Habitat For Humanity Canada branches in every province and territory.

The grand prize of $50,000 this year was won by Ryan Mota from Winnipeg.


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