CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – March 25, 2019 – Hundreds of Corpus Christi school children celebrated National Reading Month when Bess the Book Bus visited three local elementary schools as part of an educational partnership with CITGO.


This tour marks the eleventh year CITGO has teamed up with the mobile literacy program to distribute free books to students while promoting reading and education in recognition of National Reading Month. “Our commitment to students and our partnership with this program has grown stronger each year, spanning more than a decade,” said Trina C. Martinez, vice president and general manager of CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery. “Then and now CITGO remains committed to ensuring students at all levels have the educational tools they need to be successful and feel valued.”


The bus visited pre-K and kindergarten students at Oak Park Special Emphasis School, Evans Elementary School and Zavala Elementary School in Corpus Christi. “This program provides a wonderful opportunity for our Zavala pre-K and kindergarten students to engage in reading,” said Zavala Elementary School Principal Judith Hale Hinojosa. “This visit will inspire our students to love to read. Thank you to CITGO for promoting literacy.”


During the Corpus Christi tour, Bess the Book Bus visited more than 400 students and distributed more than 1,000 books in partnership with CITGO. The local visit included story time with Jennifer Frances, who founded Bess the Book Bus in 2002 to foster a love for reading among children of all economic backgrounds. “It is a pleasure to work with CITGO employees in their local areas. I admire the volunteer work they do all year long. Thanks to local employees, Bess gave away more than 12,000 books in eight states during National Reading Month. Corpus Christi was our second stop on the tour and it was especially exciting for us because it is the first place I went to kindergarten,” said Frances.


Bess the Book Bus’s nationwide tour has previously included stops at schools from New England to the Gulf Coast. Before stopping in Corpus Christi, Bess visited schools in Sulphur and Lake Charles, La. then travelled to visit students in Houston, Texas where the CITGO headquarters is located.


About CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery

The CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery provides more than 1,000 jobs locally, while generating more than $345 million per year on average in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes. With a crude refining capacity of approximately 165,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) and a versatile product mix, which includes an average of 4.2 million gallons of gasoline, the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery is one of the most sophisticated and efficient fuel and petrochemical refineries in the nation. In addition to producing high-quality fuels for a network of more than 300 independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations in the State of Texas and thousands more across the country, CITGO Corpus Christi refinery employees are dedicated to making a positive difference in their communities. CITGO Corpus Christi employees volunteer more than 2,500 hours on average annually to support causes and organizations including United Way, Charlie's Place, Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Miracle League, Catholic Charities, the Special Olympics, Hans and Pat Suter Park and Adopt-A-Beach Clean Up, among many others. For more information, visit



Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,000 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc. For more information, visit