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Olympic softball player advocating for more books in kids' hands

Tori Vidales is an Olympian whose name is big on the women’s softball circuit. And turns out she's also an Olympic reader.

HOUSTON — A local Olympian who's earned plenty of medals on the field is now honoring another activity off the field — awarding books to kids in need

Tori Vidales is a big name on the women’s softball circuit. The 1st baseman played last year for Mexico’s first Olympic softball team, which made it to the bronze medal game.  

But turns out Vidales is just as much an Olympic reader as she is an Olympic softball player.

“Last year in 2021, I set a goal for myself that I was going to read 30 books. With an entire training schedule preparing for the Olympics, that was going to be a hefty goal for me. I ended up reading, I think, 45 books," Vidales said. 

RELATED: Here's how to donate to our Turn the Page Campaign

Her love for athletics and reading started as a kid in La Porte.  

She was a four-sport athlete in high school and ended up playing softball for Texas A & M. Today, she plays for a professional women’s league called Athletes Unlimited

“They wanted to figure out what their players cared about once the jersey came off.  The nonprofits get 50% of our end-of-year bonus," Vidales said.

In Vidales case, that turned out to be about $3,000, which she had donated to Books Between Kids

She is doubling down on that partnership.  

“They don’t know this yet, but I am playing for them in 2022!”

The star athlete and avid reader has a headline for young people — “I hope that kids know you can be cool and still read.”

Tori certainly is. 

As your Education Station, KHOU 11 is committed to getting more books in the hands of kids in our community, just like Tori, through our Turn the Page campaign.

Sixty-one percent of low-income families have no books in their home. Research has shown that children growing up in homes without books are less likely to complete a basic education than their peers who do have books available at home.

You can help us “Turn The Page” on Houston’s literacy crisis. KHOU 11 is partnering with Books Between Kids to make sure children have access to books outside of school.  

Click here for more info on how to donate to the KHOU 11 Literacy Campaign

Credit: KHOU

Bedtime stories for the family

Gather the family for bedtime stories every weeknight between 7 p.m. April 4 – 22.

Our KHOU 11 anchors will take the kiddos on an exciting adventure by reading a different book each night. You’ll see the book readings pop up on the KHOU 11 Facebook page, YouTube, and our streaming app on Roku and FireTV.

Shern-Min Chow on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Turn the Page: Shern-Min Chow reads “Amah Faraway”

Shern-Min Chow KHOU is reading “Amah Faraway” by Margaret Greanias (Author), and Tracy Subisak (Illustrator) Help us get more books in Houston-area children's hands. Help us reach our goal in our Turn the Page book drive: https://bit.ly/3Lx1H3c As part of our Turn the Page campaign, we're reading books every night on Facebook at 7 p.m. The stories will also be our our Roku and FireTV apps.

Posted by KHOU 11 News on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

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