CITGO Petroleum Fuels Bess the Book Bus National Literacy Program

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CITGO Petroleum Fuels Bess the Book Bus National Literacy Program

Sponsorship Supports Book Donations for Children and Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts
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Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 2:15pm

HOUSTON, March 8, 2012 / 3BL Media / PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation is continuing its sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus, a national mobile literacy outreach program that has donated more than 350,000 books to children throughout the United States. The CITGO support will help offset the costs of Bess' summer tour, allowing the organization to help promote literacy by providing underprivileged youth with access to new books.

"It is an honor to continue our sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus and the life changing work her dedicated volunteers provide to underprivileged communities across the country," said Gustavo Velasquez, vice president of supply and marketing with CITGO. "Bess the Book Bus was one of the first winners in our national Fueling Good campaign, which recognizes and rewards local heroes. We are proud to enter our third year working with Bess and extending that Ripple of Good. Our network of locally owned CITGO stations love supporting Bess and giving the gift of reading to children in their communities."

In 2012, Bess the Book Bus will travel across the country visiting schools, community centers, shelters, and after-school programs in 28 cities and 24 states. To further foster educational development among the underprivileged youth, Bess the Book Bus will broaden her outreach by incorporating efforts to revitalize the schools and other learning centers that she visits by painting classrooms, cleaning up neighborhoods and other activities. Spending several days in Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit and Orlando, Fla., and involving local volunteers, the 2012 tour will provide many opportunities to deepen the impact of the charity's outreach by creating lasting change in local neighborhoods.

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of CITGO Petroleum," said Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus. "Through this sponsorship, Bess the Book Bus will be powered by quality CITGO fuel and ready to travel across the country, reaching more children, fostering their imaginations and improving educational levels. This year, we are also looking to include local artists and musicians to give the children exposure to art and music as well as books."

Founded in 2002, Bess the Book Bus' mission is to promote literacy and provide underserved children with access to new books. From humble beginnings serving the Tampa, Fla. region, founder Jennifer Frances has grown the program into one of the nation's most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Year round, Ms. Frances and her network of volunteers take Bess the Book Bus directly to underserved communities to read to children and provide what for many youngsters is their first new book. Through support from CITGO and other corporate sponsors, the Book Bus has traveled more than 46 states, supported more than 30,000 families and donated more than 350,000 books.

For updates on Bess the Book Bus' 2012 tour, including a travel diary and photos from reading events across the country, visit To learn how CITGO and local organizations, like Bess the Book Bus, are making a difference, visit To join the conversation, "Like" CITGO Fueling Good on Facebook and view videos of past winners at

About CITGO Petroleum

Based in Houston, CITGO is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit

About Bess the Book Bus

Bess the Book Bus is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization committed to extending literacy across the country. Run by Jennifer Frances of Tampa, Fla., the organization visits local communities across the country in a specially designed "book bus," coordinating reading events and providing children with a free, new book for them to keep. For more information, visit

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Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Bess the Book Buss | CITGO Petroleum Corporation | Citgo | children literacy program | csr