CITGO Petroleum Corp. is renewing its sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus, an initiative dedicated to promoting children’s literacy across the country and one of the first Fueling Good winners.
Over the course of 2014, Bess will travel the U.S., making numerous stops at schools, community centers, shelters, Head Start facilities and CITGO locations in nearly 60 cities to donate books, read aloud to children and help spread a love for reading. By visiting schools and classroom libraries directly this year, Bess will significantly increase the impact the program has on the nation’s most underserved students.
“Education is one of the four pillars of social responsibility at CITGO, and our continued support for Bess the Book Bus is in keeping with our promise to fuel good by constantly giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Gustavo Velásquez, vice president of supply and marketing of CITGO. “Bess’ founder, Jennifer Frances, makes an undeniable impact in these communities, and truly changes the lives of so many of the young children and families she reaches. We are proud to support such a meaningful initiative.”
Since starting Bess the Book Bus in 2002, Frances has grown the program into one of the nation’s most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Thanks to a network of volunteers and support from CITGO and other corporate sponsors, Bess the Book Bus has visited 48 states, supported more than 60,000 children, and donated more than 450,000 books. In 2014, she hopes to give away more than 60,000 books on the tour.
“Our partnership with CITGO helped us donate more than 50,000 books in 2013 alone,” Frances said. “Without our wonderful sponsors like CITGO, we would not have the resources to reach all of the children and families that we do. We look forward to traveling across the country again to meet local CITGO Marketers and the Fueling Good Road Trip team in our continuing quest to spread a love for literature. We are so excited to get started.”
For stories from Bess the Book Bus’ 2013 tour, including a travel diary and photos from events across the country, visit http://bessthebookbus.org/. To learn how CITGO and local organizations like Bess the Book Bus are making a difference in communities throughout the U.S., visit www.FuelingGood.com. To join the conversation, “Like” CITGO Fueling Good on Facebook, “Follow” on Twitter and Instagram, and view videos of past winners at http://www.youtube.com/CITGOFuelingGood/.