Children of Heartland Charter School recently participated in the Inspire Charter School State Impact Day.

As part of the Inspire Charter School State Impact Day, our local charter, Heartland Charter, hosted an event to provide service opportunities for people in our community. The students had the opportunity to write letters to those in the service, paint kindness rocks to hide around town, and collect food for the Salvation Army for food baskets.

We started out talking to the students about our diversity and how they feel about doing things for people they know. Each activity they participated in offered them a way of expressing their gratitude and showing kindness and thankfulness to people they do not know.

We have received many comments from families who enjoyed participating. Fran Cook, a parent, wrote, "Impact Day impacted my children, ages 6 and 11, tremendously. On the way to the event, we discussed that there are people in our community who go without food and that we were going to give a portion of our food to help fulfill their hunger. My kids learned that everything we do impacts other people, even those whom we will never meet.

"I am a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Seeing the children write those letters reminded me of Christmas day in Saudi Arabia, when every soldier in my squadron received a card from a child, like these precious children. We missed our families on Christmas, but these children reached out to strangers to bring joy during the time of sadness. I appreciated this event that Heartland Charter offered. Not only did they inspire my children to look outside of themselves to impact others, but helping me as a parent realize the importance of making time in our day to impact at least one stranger, by doing a random act of kindness."

The students also enjoyed painting kindness rocks. After the event, they will hide the rocks around town for others to find. Chance, an 11-year-old student, said, "When people find the rocks, I hope to put a smile on their face."

The students were able to look outside of themselves and do things that will bring a smile to other people. May we all have an impact on others by showing acts of kindness not only today, but throughout the year.

Debbie Simpson, Community Coordinator - Tehachapi/ HST, Heartland Charter School