Corpus Christi, Texas, May 31, 2022 – As part of its ongoing educational partnership with CITGO, Bess the Book Bus visited hundreds of students at four local elementary schools during a two-day tour. This year marks14 years that CITGO has partnered with the mobile literacy outreach program to distribute free books to students to promote reading and education.

The bus visited pre-K, kindergarten, and first-grade students at Oak Park, Evans, T.G. Allen, and Crockett Elementary Schools during its Corpus Christi stop. More than 450 children were able to choose from a variety of popular titles and take home their own books. “With the pandemic causing disruption to the past couple of school years, it’s more important than ever for students to have access to the educational resources that will set them up for long-term success,” said Jim Cristman, Vice President and General Manager of CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery. “CITGO is proud to continue and strengthen its partnership with Bess the Book Bus to help inspire our local students to love reading and learning.”

The local visit also included story time with Jennifer Frances, who founded Bess the Book Bus in 2002 to build a love for reading in children in the most underserved communities across the country. “I am thankful that we were able to reach more students in Corpus Christi because of CITGO’s commitment to our mission,” said Frances. “Even through the ups and downs of the pandemic, CITGO never wavered in its support and that allowed Bess to stay on the road and continue to serve children and families. CITGO’s commitment to fueling good in the communities where their employees work and live continues to impress our team and is one of the main reasons we are proud to continue our partnership. We are already looking forward to 2023.” 

Following the stops in Corpus Christi, Bess the Book Bus traveled to visit students in Houston, Texas where the CITGO corporate headquarters is located. Bess is on the way to giving away its one millionth book later this year during its nationwide tour.