from the Morning Sentinel.

A national mobile book distribution program made one of several stops to deliver books to more than 200 children attending the Educare Central Maine early learning program on Thursday.

Bess the Book Bus is a mobile literacy outreach dedicated to getting books into homes of underprivileged and under-represented children and families. The bus, packed with books travels to schools, community centers, shelters and after-school programs conducting read-alouds and hands out new books. The program’s goal is to build home libraries for children while generating enthusiasm for reading. The 2012 Transitions VSP Success is in Sight tour will allow new books to reach more than 20,000 families in 44 states and will give away more than 100,000 books.

Locally, Ellen Richmond, of the Children’s Bookseller, in Waterville, supports Bess the Book Bus’s distribution in Waterville and maintains an important connection to mobile bus organizers. The Bus is driven by Jennifer Frances and her crew, which are based in Tampa, Fla. Frances, 40, of Tampa, cashed in her 401(k) plan money to establish the bus 10 years ago. The bus has done national tours since 2005.