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CITGO & Maine-Based Dysarts Fuel Support Child Literacy With Bess the Book Bus Sponsorship

Funding Helping Mobile Book Bus Meet Goal of Donating 100,000 Books in Nationwide Tour

Published 08-11-11

Submitted by CITGO Petroleum Corporation

/PRNewswire/ - CITGO Petroleum Corporation and Maine based fuel supplier Dysarts Service are proud to support 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.

As part of the ongoing partnership between CITGO and the Bangor, Maine community, Bess the Book Bus made a stop at the Bangor Public Library on August 9. There, Bess the Book Bus volunteers read to more than 75 children and invited each of them on to the Book Bus to pick out a brand new book of their own. Following the library read-aloud, Bess the Book Bus visited the Kev-Lan Korner CITGO station, at 1110 Broadway in Bangor, where she met with customers and gave away books to local children. Local children's book author Angeli Perrow was also in attendance, signing copies of her books for local families. In total, more than 500 books were given away to members of the community, helping to inspire children with the excitement of reading and improve literacy levels among local students. Kev-Lan Korner CITGO also donated more than $100 in support of Bess the Book Bus efforts in Maine and beyond.

"Everyone at Dysarts and the Kev-Lan Korner CITGO Station is extremely excited to support CITGO in their sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus," said Cheryl Noyes with Kev-Lan Korner CITGO. "Improving literacy levels in children across our community is vitally important to us and we are pleased to have Bess the Book Bus engage with our local library, as well as our customers. Every day locally owned CITGO stores like Kev-Lan Korner CITGO in Bangor, work hard to make a positive impact on our community. We wish Bess the Book Bus all the best as she continues to encourage children to read in Maine and across the country."

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."

On April 28, Jennifer Frances and two volunteers began their 180-day nationwide tour. They are traveling through 44 states, reading 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, like Kev-Lan Korner CITGO in Bangor, are joining 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.

The Fueling Good program and support for Bess the Book Bus demonstrates the core value of giving back by 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 www.Facebook.com/CITGOFuelingGood or www.Bessthebookbus.org.

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.

For more information visit www.CITGO.com.

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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 www.CITGO.com

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