Lake Charles, La. – June 8, 2016 – Representatives from the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery assisted Bess the Book Bus in delivering free books to local schools during the month of May. Bess the Book Bus visited Jake Drost Head Start School and E.K. Key Elementary in Sulphur, and Brenda Hunter Head Start School in Lake Charles. The visits were part of the mobile literacy program’s nationwide stops. Miss Louisiana, April Nelson, and Miss Teen Louisiana, Sarah Katherine McCallum who are sponsored by CITGO, also read aloud and sang to the students as part of the program.
Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus said children across the U.S. are able to experience the “pride and joy of book ownership” because of sponsors like CITGO. “CITGO is building home libraries and life-long readers. Over 700 books have been given to children in Sulphur and Lake Charles during the last couple of days,” Frances said.
CITGO Vice President and General Manager Tomeu Vadell said CITGO is privileged to host Bess the Book Bus for the fifth year in a row. “We understand the value of literacy and the world of opportunities books provide to students. Bess the Book bus is a fun and interactive way for children to discover the value of reading and CITGO is excited to continue this program through our Fueling Education initiatives.”
Founded in 2002, Bess the Book Bus’ mission is to promote literacy and provide underserved children with access to new and engaging books. Frances has grown the program into one of the nation's most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Each year, she 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.
CITGO believes in the power of education, and we are committed to nurturing the ongoing learning experiences that fuel the knowledge our communities require to thrive and in equipping the workforce for the future. The visit to local schools by Bess the Book Bus is one more example of how CITGO supports education both locally and at the national level. CITGO Lake Charles is also a Partner in Education to four local schools including E.K. Key Elementary, Calcasieu Career Center, Sulphur High School and Sulphur High School 9th Grade.

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