Bess the Book Bus and CITGO Deliver Books to Southwest Louisiana Children

May 26, 2021 12:30 PM ET
L to R: Jill Deason, Kaufman Elementary School Principal; Jennifer Francis, Bess the Book Bus Founder; Eric Tarver, Calcasieu Parish School Board Member; Missy Amidon, CITGO Public Affairs Coordinator.

May 26, 2021 /3BL Media/ - CITGO Petroleum Corporation and mobile literacy program, Bess the Book Bus, delivered books to young students in Southwest Louisiana at J.D. Clifton Head Start, Vincent Settlement, College Oaks, Kaufman and Brentwood Elementary schools. The pre-k through first-grade students took a break from the classroom to visit with Bess the Book Bus and take home their very own books to read with their families.

“Over the last year, so many events have been cancelled or postponed, which made us recognize even more the strong need for fun and innovative educational outlets for local students. Bess the Book Bus is our way to bring that to our community in a safe and unique way,” said Jerry Dunn, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery.

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 over 45,000 children and gives away over 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 and LeBlanc Middle 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 42 terminals, six 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 4,500 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets, all located east of the Rocky Mountains. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc.