CITGO Encourages Thousands of Children to Become Lifelong Readers Through Series of Events During National Reading Month

Campaign includes visits to more than 50 schools and hospitals across eight states
Feb 23, 2017 11:25 AM ET

In celebration of National Reading Month, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, along with its mobile literacy partner, Bess the Book Bus, is hosting special reading events for several thousand children at more than 50 schools and Children’s Hospitals throughout the Central United States.
From Feb. 23 to March 3, CITGO representatives and Bess the Book Bus will deliver more than 18,000 brand new, free books to schools in eight states, while special read-alouds for children will focus on the joy and importance of reading every day.  
Founded in 2002 by Jennifer Frances, whose grandmother Bess O’Keefe fueled a love of reading from a young age, Bess the Book Bus aims to bring that same love of reading to children everywhere. Since inception, and with support from sponsors like CITGO, Bess the Book Bus travels nationwide and has visited 48 states, reaching more than 100,000 children in underserved communities and donating more than 500,000 books.
“Through the CITGO National Reading Month events, we are making a difference in the lives of children by allowing them to feel the pride and joy of book ownership,” said Frances. “I look forward to continuing to spread the love of reading and visiting many more local communities with the help of CITGO as the Book Bus continues its nationwide tour later this year.”  
The campaign will include visits to more than 50 schools and Children’s Hospitals near CITGO operational areas in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, including locations near CITGO Headquarters in Houston, Texas, and the three CITGO refineries in Lemont, Ill., Lake Charles, La., and Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Our National Reading Month celebration is one of the most important ways we fuel education throughout our local communities,” said Alan Flagg, CITGO Assistant Vice President of Supply and Marketing. “Partnering with Bess the Book Bus is a great way to empower today’s youth and encourage them to focus on their education.” 
To learn more about how CITGO is fueling education in communities across the country and to download free STEM education resources, visit  
About Bess the Book Bus 
Bess the Book Bus is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to extending literacy across the country. Run by Jennifer Frances of Tampa, Fla., the organization visits local communities across the country in a specially designed "book bus," coordinating reading events and providing children with free, new books for them to keep. For more information, visit
About CITGO 
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit