SULPHUR, La. – May 12, 2023 – CITGO Petroleum Corporation and mobile literacy program Bess the Book Bus gifted books to young Southwest Louisiana students during visits to Brenda Hunter Head Start, Combre-Fondel Elementary, John F. Kennedy Early Learning Center and E. K. Key Elementary. The pre-K through first-grade students were able to visit Bess the Book Bus at their school and choose their very own book to take home and read with their families.

“We look forward to bringing Bess the Book Bus to our community each year, and with the help of CITGO employees, Bess gave out 600 books to some very excited children,” said Sterling Neblett, vice president and general manager of the Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex. “We are proud to continue this annual tradition and continue to make it a priority to promote literacy and make reading fun.”

Based in Tampa, Fla., Bess the Book Bus was founded by Jennifer Frances in 2002 to help make book ownership a reality for the country’s underserved children. With the help of CITGO, Bess the Book Bus serves more than 45,000 children and gives away more than 75,000 books in dozens of states across the country each year. In addition to its work with Bess the Book Bus, CITGO supports several educational initiatives throughout Calcasieu Parish, including the CITGO Innovation Academies at E.K. Key Elementary, LeBlanc Middle School and Sulphur High School which offer a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based curriculum to students from across the region. Since 1988, CITGO has participated in the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Partners in Education Program and currently serves four schools, including Sulphur High School, Sulphur Ninth Grade Campus, E.K. Key Elementary and Calcasieu Parish Alternative Sites.

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 Lake Charles, La.; Lemont, Ill.; and Corpus Christi, Texas, and wholly and/or jointly owns 38 active terminals, six pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,300 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 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 4,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets, all located east of the Rocky Mountains. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc.