KINDNESS COUNTS: Syracuse’s Salem Hyde Students

By Farah Jadran

Photos courtesy of SCSD

We all know that saying, “I’m too old to change.” Perhaps, you’ve said it yourself. Whether it was a serious statement or your were kidding – I am here along with many others – ready to advocate for change!


This month, I want you to meet four shining examples of how kindness is thriving in the hearts of Syracuse youth. Each child makes it their mission to be kind every day they walk through the doors of Salem Hyde Elementary on Durston Avenue in Syracuse.


Jasmine – Pre-K


Young Jasmine says, “I love school.” Her sweet but humbling smile says it all. She has a natural ability to be caring to her

classmates. “I help them and be nice,” she said. Jasmine’s teacher says she is a hard worker and always tries her best. When she is not helping a fellow student with a warm smile, Jasmine says she loves to learn every day.


Smriti – Kindergarten

Teachers and staff describe Smriti as “respectful and caring.” She walks the halls of Salem


Hyde with positive thoughts. Smriti says she does her best to, “be good so others are good too.” Her good attitude has earned her many “Life Skills Tickets” – notes from teachers and staff rewarding students for a number of positive actions. While being a good student, Smiriti says she loves “the best things like gym.”


Austen – Second Grade


With pride, Austen says he is a good math student. It’s his favorite subject. Teachers are also proud as Austen shares his knowledge with others. “I’m able to help other people,” Austen said. His willingness to help his classmates has shown great kindness to others. When his homework is done – Austen has other plans. “I like gym because I get to play.”


Audrey – Third Grade
“I greet everyone with a warm smile,” Audrey said. “I like making other people feel good.”


Passing on kindness has become a part of Audrey’s everyday life. She says it is important to do. “When you are kind to someone, they will be kind to another person,” Audrey shared. “And it goes on and on.”  It’s all about setting a good example. Audrey says she enjoys being polite to others and especially enjoys lunchtime because she takes a break from learning and spends that time with friends.


No matter how young or old we are – it is time to be kind, caring, compassionate and willing to share knowledge. It’s a movement we are all a part of. Salem Hyde Principal Becky Groat looks at Jasmine, Smriti, Austen and Audrey and knows the future is bright. These four elementary kids are on to something.


Kindness can change someone’s heart. It can help others realize there is a world around them and more to life than possessions and petty arguments. Kindness can be the message you wear and walk with because you choose to live life with genuine gratitude for each day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised. Why not spend today being kind and being positive?


Farah Jadran is the anchor of CBS5 This Morning and CBS5 News at Noon for CNYCentral in Syracuse. Farah also served as editor of SWM for more than four years after she helped launch it in January 2011. If you or someone you know is spreading kindness in our community — tweet at her — @FarahJadran using #BeKindSyracuse.


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