CITGO Petroleum Corp. is renewing its sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus, one of the first Fueling Good winners and a nationwide advocate for literacy.
Throughout 2013, Bess will travel to schools, community centers, shelters and after-school programs in more than 30 cities across the country, while also continuing to build and enhance school and classroom libraries. New this year, Bess is also partnering with local authors, artists and musicians in an effort to bring art and music to the nation’s most underserved schools.
“Because education is one of the core pillars in our social responsibility program, it’s a natural extension to support Bess the Book Bus,” said Gustavo Velásquez, vice president of supply and marketing for CITGO. “Furthermore, Bess’ founder, Jennifer Frances, is a true local hero who makes a substantial, positive impact in the communities in which CITGO and its locations operate. The smiles and excitement that Bess the Book Bus has brought to thousands of families during the last 10 years are priceless and CITGO is proud to continue its support for this life-changing program.”
Founded in 2002, Bess the Book Bus’ mission is to promote literacy and provide underserved children with access to new books. From its humble beginnings in Tampa, Fla., founder Jennifer Frances has grown the program into one of the nation’s most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Year round, 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, Bess the Book Bus has covered more than 48 states, supported more than 60,000 families, and donated more than 450,000 books.
“Without the continued support from CITGO, we would not have the fuel and resources that are required to reach the number of children and families we have since 2009,” said Frances. “We look forward to continuing to spread the love of reading and books to more children through our partnership with CITGO.”
For updates on Bess the Book Bus’ 2013 tour, including a travel diary and photos from reading events across the country, visit http://bessthebookbus.org/.