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CITGO Supports Child Literacy With Bess the Book Bus Sponsorship

Funding will help mobile book bus meet goal of donating 100,000 books in nationwide tour

Published 04-28-11

Submitted by CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Fueling Good, presented by CITGO Petroleum Corp., recognizes and rewards local heroes across the country. (PRNewsFoto/CITGO Petroleum Corp.)

/PRNewswire/ - CITGO Petroleum Corporation is proud to continue its support of Tampa-based mobile literacy outreach, and past Fueling Good winner, Bess the Book Bus with a sponsorship of its "2011 Success in Sight Tour." Bess the Book Bus will visit more than 44 states through the end of 2011 with a goal of reaching more than 20,000 underserved families and donating 100,000 new books to inspire young minds through the adventures that reading can bring.

"Everyone at CITGO is extremely excited to continue our sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus," said Gustavo Velasquez, vice president of supply and marketing with CITGO. "We saw the great work that Bess did with a year's supply of CITGO fuel in our 2009 Fueling Good campaign. We are proud to have played a role in providing more than 60,000 books to needy children, reaching more than 10,000 families across the country. As we expand our support for this charity, we look forward to making a positive impact on nationwide literacy levels."

Bess the Book Bus was founded in 2002 by Jennifer E. Frances as a way to promote literacy and provide needy children with access to brand new books in and around Tampa, Fla. From its humble beginnings, Jennifer has grown the program into one of the nation's most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Year round, Jennifer and 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. Fueled by excited children, a desire to raise literacy levels, and high-quality CITGO fuel, Bess the Book Bus is ready to travel the United States, reaching out and inspiring children with books.

"I am thrilled about my partnership with CITGO and to keep on Fueling Good," said Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus. "We have an aggressive goal this year but with the backing of CITGO, the local Marketers and Retailers, refinery teams, and corporate employees, I am confident that 2011 will be our most successful year yet. The red trimark of a locally owned CITGO station is like a beacon for us as we rack up the miles. I know when I pull into a CITGO station, Bess will be filled with the quality fuel that the local CITGO Marketers and Retailers provide year-round to their communities."

Kicking off on April 28, Jennifer Frances and two volunteers will begin their 180-day nationwide tour. They will travel through 44 states and read to thousands of children at schools, Head Start initiatives, afterschool programs, homeless shelters, and a wide range of other programs, including unplanned stops along the way, whenever need is identified. After each read-aloud, Jennifer invites the children onto the bus and helps them choose a brand new book that matches their reading level and interests. Locally owned CITGO stations along the route will join with Jennifer to support children in their own communities and keep Bess the Book Bus filled for the tour. Additional support for the tour is being provided by Transitions Optical and VSP Vision Care, Townsend Press, Capstone Publishers, and Candlewick Press.

"CITGO will, once again, honor local heroes like Bess the Book Bus during its 2011 Fueling Good program," added Velasquez. "We look forward to rewarding more charities that work to make a difference in peoples' lives every day." The Fueling Good program demonstrates a core value of CITGO and is aligned with the principles of the CITGO shareholder, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

For updates on Bess the Book Bus' 2011 Success in Sight Tour, including a travel diary and photos from reading events across the country, visit or

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

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CITGO Petroleum Corporation

CITGO Petroleum Corporation

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 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 4,700 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

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