Kenney and Avery Cole, fifth graders at Lakeview Elementary, raised money for Hurricane Michael relief in 2018 and for Grand Bahama Disaster Relief fund in 2019.
Twins from Lakeview Elementary School in Sarasota have won an award for their volunteer work from the Florida Department of Education.
The Outstanding School Volunteer Award is presented yearly to students who have shown “outstanding dedication and commitment to quality education in Florida.”
Kenney and Avery Cole, 11, raised money for Bay Haven Charter Academy in Panama City, which was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in 2018. They used their birthday money, started a GoFundMe account and recruited their classmates to donate. They ended up raising almost $2,000 for the school.
They saw a television report about the need and started fundraising, said their mother, Kyle Turoff. “It was around their birthday and they said they wanted to give money to hurricane relief.”
In fall 2019, the fifth-graders started a fundraising effort in their school to raise money for the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief fund. Again, the twins gave their birthday money, started a GoFundMe initiative and recruited classmates to donate.
During online school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the twins watch MSNBC all day long while they do their school work and always want to watch the news every morning and night.
Avery talks about going into teaching when he gets older and Kennedy wants to go into politics so he can change the world.
The twins are already planning ways to help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re the kids who walk our older friends to their car, hold the door open,” Turoff said. “I think they’re very aware that they’re very privileged that they live where they live and go to school where they do.”
The Outstanding School Volunteer Award recognizes one youth, one adult, and one senior school volunteer in each of Florida’s five reporting regions.