North Colonie first-grader James Assimon has one mission in life: to make people smile! The little boy with the big heart does exactly that through his aptly named James Smile Project.
James’ answer to a question posed by mom, Cheryl Assimon, was the catalyst for the project. When asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, the six-year-old answered that he just wants to make people smile. His mom has encouraged him to achieve that goal ever since by providing him with small homemade magnets imprinted with cute images or inspirational (sometimes silly) messages for James to share with anyone – and everyone – who looks in need of a smile.
To date, James has shared an estimated 700 to 800 magnets with his fellow students and teachers at Southgate Elementary School, but mostly with strangers he meets in the community.
Recently, he shared magnets adorned with guardian angels to officers in the Colonie Police Department because James says they have an important and a dangerous job that requires guardian angels to protect them. To show their appreciation, the officers invited James to tour the Colonie Police facility and ride in a police cruiser with the siren on, which James said was the best! His second favorite part of the tour – an impromptu game of kickball with the officers. James’ visit to Colonie PD was featured on NewsChannel 13, WNYT. View the news story, here.
Next, James plans to spread holiday happiness to patients at Albany Medical Center when he delivers toys – and magnets, of course – to the hospital.
His teacher, Jenna Covino, nominated James as North Colonie Kids Care for December. “James has made a wonderful impact on his community and continues to make everyone he encounters smile,” she said.
When asked what makes him smile, James simply replied, “My mom and dad!”
James will be recognized for providing smiles during the December 19 Board of Education meeting.