Grade 5 Comox student Alice Hopkins is helping build homes with words.

She took part in the ‘Meaning of Home’ national writing contest and was one of three runners up.

The writing competition supports Habitat for Humanity Canada and asks students in Grade 4, 5 and 6 to share what home means to them.

Over 10,200 students entered this year’s contest, and Hopkins helped win a $10,000 grant that will go towards Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s (Habitat VIN) affordable housing project at 1330 Lake Trail Road in Courtenay.

“I was surprised because there were so many great poems in my class,” said Alice in reaction to her win.

“Alice’s poem captures the Habitat spirit perfectly,” said Pat McKenna, executive director of Habitat VIN.

“Home isn’t just a physical space — its family, friendships, and community. It’s the safety and security that many of us take for granted. We are so impressed that Alice, and so many of the other local students who participated, recognize that.”

A total of 106 other students in Habitat VIN’s area of operations entered the contest, resulting in an additional $1,060 donation.

You can read Alice’s winning entry “HOME” at meaningofhome.ca/winners-2020/.