TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- Bess the Book Bus is a Tampa-based literary outreach program that provides free books to children in lower income communities.
Bess the Book Bus has traveled to different schools across 48 states with the mission of expanding students’ interest for books.
“You should see their faces. They just light up because reading is such a fun thing to do and I think that’s what we have to emphasize for our students out there,” Bess the Book Buss Founder Jennifer Frances said.
The idea for Bess the Book Bus began in 2003 and the wheels started turning in 2004. Founder Jennifer Frances named Bess the Book Bus after her grandmother, who loved reading, as a way to honor her.
“She would take myself and my little cousin to the library… but he couldn’t say ‘Nana Bess’… one of my vivid memories is of him saying ‘Nana Bus, Nana Bus’. So when I came up with the idea for the book bus I knew it had to be in honor of her,” Frances said.
Bess The Book Bus is a non-profit organization that depends on monetary donations to keep providing free books.
The program serves more than 50,000 children across the country every year. In 2020, Bess the Book Bus was able to give away more than 84,000 books.