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CITGO Fuels Children's Imagination With Bess the Book Bus in Houston

Published 05-18-11

Submitted by CITGO Petroleum Corporation

/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.

In Houston, on May 17, Bess the Book Bus visited Collins and Hearne Elementary Schools, in the Alief Independent School District (ISD) near CITGO headquarters. The program involved a read-along which was brought via video conference to all 3,500 kindergarten students in the district. Bess the Book Bus also distributed new books for kindergarten students which were collected during a CITGO employee book drive. Alief ISD has been identified as one of the most underserved school districts in Houston.

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 traveling the United States, reaching out and inspiring children with books.

"We were thrilled to have Jennifer from Bess the Book Bus visit elementary schools in Alief ISD. This mobile library instills a passion for reading in the young minds of children and inspires them to reach out for the stars," said CITGO Vice President Government and Public Affairs Daniel Cortez.

Alief ISD Superintendent HD Chambers expressed appreciation to CITGO for sponsoring the book drive and for bringing Bess the Book Bus to Collins and Hearne elementary schools. "Our partnership with CITGO exemplifies how the business community can make a positive effect on our students' education. By providing these young kindergarten students with books, CITGO is helping to promote a love for reading at an early age--a key component for student success."

The visit to Houston by Bess the Book Bus is one more example of CITGO's support of education both locally and at the national level. CITGO offers college and university scholarships each year, primarily in engineering, to deserving students at a number of institutions in different parts of the country. Also, Adopt-a-School/Partners in Education programs in local communities provide funds and volunteers, such as tutors, mentors and translators. These initiatives are in alignment with the principles of solidarity endorsed by the CITGO shareholder, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), 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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