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Heloise Lorimer student finishes runner-up in national writing competition

Words can often seem meaningless and may fall into the trap of being overlooked. But sometimes what may seem meaningless can generate the largest impacts.
Heloise Lorimer School teacher Suzanne Krienke was proud of her Grade 5 student Brooklyn Roberts for penning a poem that finished runner-up in a national writing contest and earned $10,000 to support Habitat for Humanity in Airdrie.

An Airdrie elementary school student received some national plaudits after penning a poem about the meaning of home.

Across the country, students in grades 4 to 6 were invited to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s national writing contest titled “The Meaning of Home.” Students were asked to write an essay or poem about what the concept of “home” means to them.

As an added incentive, winners and runners-up also won prize money to support local Habitat for Humanity projects, and Airdrie’s own Grade 5 student, Brooklyn Roberts, was able to do just that.

The Heloise Lorimer School student submitted a poem to the contest titled “A Key to a Home.” The 11-year-old said her family played a major role in her creative vision while writing the poem, adding the words came from the heart.

“My family played a big part in it and it just started coming out,” she said.

Roberts said she wasn’t sure if the poem would win, but felt she had put in the work to make it the best it could be.

Feeling some nerves about the poem’s formatting, Roberts maintained a level head and remained confident about her work.

After finding out she won one of the prizes, Roberts said it was emotional. She said it felt great knowing her work was going to help give back to the community.

“I cried, I was so happy,” she said.

Roberts also won a tablet and a pizza party for her Grade 5 class at Heloise Lorimer School. She was awarded with the prizes at the school on June 2.

She said her friends and classmates were supportive of her accomplishments as well.

“They were really happy for me – and for the pizza party,” Roberts said. “It was special to me and they awarded me with a tablet, and I said my poem in front of a camera.”

Her mother Holly said she wasn’t surprised her daughter did well in the contest and that she is proud of her accomplishment. Holly said the news was shared with friends and family across the country, who all offered hearty congratulations.

Holly hopes her daughter recognizes the power of giving back to her community and that she continues to do well in her academic journey.

“We’re really trying to hit home that piece [that] you just gave $10,000 back to your community by writing this poem,” Holly said. “It’s a good life lesson for her to learn at this stage.”

Robert’s teacher, Suzanne Krienke, said it was great to see one of her students write about the meaning of family, while in turn helping another family in need.

“To help a family, plus to write about what her own family means to her, [I’m] super excited about it,” she said.

With Krienke retiring at the end of this school year, she said she hopes other teachers in Airdrie will encourage their students to take part in the contest moving forward.

Airdrie students have participated in the writing contest since 2015, raising almost $100,000 for their local Habitat for Humanity. Tyler Smith was the first winner in 2015, earning the top spot in the nation.

In 2016, Callie Wallace won the national video entry and in 2019, Grade 4 student Mallory Pitzner was the national winner for her grade level. 

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