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Bess the Book Bus

November 17, 2011

Written by Contributing Writer, Sarah Farthing

You know The Good Stuff Guide loves children’s books.   We just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to let you know about Bess the Book Bus!


Founder Jennifer Frances explains:

“Bess the Book Bus, Inc. is a mobile literacy outreach founded in 2004 in honor of my Nana, Bess O’Keefe. Bess, nicknamed Nana Bus, taught me the joy of reading. Every weekend we would walk into town where I was able to choose a new book. I could not wait to get home and have her read to me. Nana Bus opened a new world for me every time she opened a book and started to read.

As I got older, I realized what a difference that my Nana had made in my life by teaching me the importance of reading. I wanted to share my love for books and reading with as many people as possible in hopes that it could open new worlds for them as well. And now, through Bess the Book Bus, Inc., I am blessed with the opportunity to share the joy of reading with others.

Bess the Book Bus is dedicated to reading to children, promoting literacy, and getting books in to the homes of underprivileged children and families in the Tampa area. While our offices are located in South Tampa, the program itself is mobile. This year we have increased our services to include twenty-five Head Start programs, ten summer programs, The Spring, Metropolitan Ministries, Redland Christian Migrant Association, and an after school program. We also support three school libraries that do not have enough books to serve their population.”

Jennifer was awarded one year of gas by the CITGO Fueling Good program and embarked on a 2011 Success is in Sight Tour, allowing her to reach 20,000+ families in 44 states and give away more than 100,000 books!!

What an amazing accomplishment, Jennifer, kudos to you from The Good Stuff Guide!


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  1. Mama Nolte

      on November 17, 2011 11:15 am

    What an inspirational story of how one woman (and her Nana) have opened the world of reading joy to so many children!


  2. Heidi Farmer

      on November 17, 2011 12:09 pm

    I just love this story! Hey Sarah, as someone who has oodles and oodles of books at home, is there a way to donate books to Jennifer?


  3. Sarah

      on November 17, 2011 3:53 pm

    It looks there is just a page for monetary donations:

    I’m sure trying to manage a huge influx of books would take a lot of manpower and I imagine the books are chosen according to some specific criteria. I bet your own library or a school library in a low-income neighborhood in your state would welcome a big box of books with open arms!


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