I’ve lived in three different states in the past three years as I finished undergrad, completed grad school, and moved out on my own. Home is a bit amorphous for me as I find my footing, but I think I would still call the place where my parents, grandparents and black lab live, “home.”

Coldwell Banker has just announced the grand-prize winners and runners-up of the nationwide My Home: The American Dream contest. In collaboration with Scholastic, the children’s publishing, education and media company, Coldwell Banker invited students in kindergarten through 8th grade to share what makes their house a home. The submissions from students across the country emphasized importance of family, love and memories to the “American Dream” of homeownership.


Kindergarten to Grade Two
Fausto Rojas, Second Grade, Downey, Calif.
Fausto Rojas, a 7-year-old second grader from Rio Hondo School, won for his creative drawing of his family and house accompanied by an original poem comparing a “house” to a “home.”

Grades Three to Five
Alyssa Menko, Fourth Grade, Kulpmont, Pa.
Alyssa Menko, a 9-year-old fourth grader from Mt. Carmel School, won for her personalized scrapbook submission titled, “A Celebration of Home.” The album was an impressive compilation of photos and accessories brought to life by incorporating poems and words such as “family,” “love” and “memories.”

Grades Six to Eight
Emily Williams, Seventh Grade, Vandalia, Ohio
Emily Williams, a 12-year-old seventh grader from St. Christopher School, won for her “What H.O.M.E Really Is” album collage. The collage describes how “a home is nothing tangible” by giving personal meaning to each of the letters in the word home.

Melissa Lanin, First Grade, Franconia, N.H.
Melissa Lanin’s first grade class from Lafayette Regional School won in the “Classroom” category for its original DVD submissions. Each student wrote about what makes their house a home and provided illustrations. The essays and drawings were then brought to life in individual videos narrated by each of the children.

For more information on this year’s contest visit www.coldwellbanker.com/AmericanDream. Videos of the winning entries can be viewed on the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/cbankervideo.