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Michael Barnes

Author and athlete Tim Green pumps up BookSpring fans

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Theater training helps. Days after winning an $11,000 Philanthropitch grant with theatrical flairEmily Ball Cicchini turned BookSpring‘s annual Storybook Heroes Luncheon into quite the efficient and effective show.

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Kay Gooch and Tim Green at Storybook Heroes Luncheon for BookSpring.

Among those amplifying the nonprofit group’s efforts to give books to needy kids was rock star librarian Kay Gooch, previously profiled in these pages. One volunteer, Mindy Reed Gomillion, and one business, Keller Williams Realty International, walked away with the Storybook Hero laurels.

It was author and athlete Tim Green, however, who hit an inspirational “Home Run,” coincidently the title of his latest hit from HarperCollins Publishers.

After a career in the NFL and as a lawyer, Green pursued another childhood fantasy by becoming a writer. He’s put out more than 30 books for adults and youths. Green also speaks to schoolchildren 100 times a year, first about sports, then about reading.

He encourages 60 minutes of physical activity and 20 minutes of unrestricted reading a day. Green calls reading “mental weightlifting” and credits the practice with fostering kindness through empathy. He also recommended “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

If Green can’t sell you on the fundamental value of reading at an early age, nobody can.

Cicchini thinks big: She wants to provide 20 books each for al 75,000 needy kids in Central Texas.

Update: In a previous version of this post, Kay Gooch’s name was misspelled in the caption.