Archive for January, 2010

Bess the Book Bus — a passion for bringing the gift of books to children.

Friday, January 8th, 2010



Recently, my boss came to me with a mission — Find out more about Bess the Book Bus. So I did and what I found is that Jennifer Frances (founder and driver of Bess the Book Bus) is an incredible woman dedicated to bringing the gift of books to children all across America using her dependable book bus, Bess.

Bess the Book Bus is a non-profit organization dedicated to reading to children, promoting literacy, and getting books into the homes of underprivileged children and families.  Bess’s nationwide tour kicks off in early April.  During her trip she circles the country, visiting children and encouraging a love of reading.  Jennifer named her book bus Bess after her Nana Bess who instilled a passion for reading in her when she was young.

In addition to their national outreach, Bess serves over 5,000 families in Tampa. They distribute an average of 40,000  (200,000 + so far and 21,500 as part of last year’s Summer of Good Reads and Good Deeds with SuperPages) books annually in order to build home libraries for children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to own books.

Bess has been featured in the big time media spotlight in such publications as People Magazine where she was named one of People’s Heroes Among Us, and has been seen on the CBS Early Show and PBS!

The primary sponsor for these trips in SuperMedia, the publishers of and Switchboard.   But Bess also works closely with Transitions Lenses, Jennifer’s biggest local sponsor.  They will be joining her for outreach events in several of the nationwide cities. In addition to providing free eye exams and glasses for the children, they will partner to educate families regarding proper eye health and its importance in both the classroom and reading for pleasure.

While the final tour schedule is not finalized yet, Bess has some great prospective cities they’d like to visit this year, including Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas and New Orleans, just to name a few.  She will no doubt be pretty busy this summer instilling a respect and a love for the written word in our young people.  Be on the lookout for her in your city or a city near you!

Click here if you are interested in learning more about Bess the Book Bus or if you’d like to invite her to visit your town/city.  To support her efforts, visit her secure, online donation system.