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Jackson-area kids will get monthly books in effort

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Every child under 5 in three Jackson-area counties will be eligible to receive a book per month under an expanding program.

Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday that it's giving $400,000 to United Way of the Capital Area to expand the Imagination Library program.

The effort was founded by country music singer Dolly Parton in her east Tennessee hometown and has expanded to 1,300 communities. The program, which gives a book each month to children from birth to age 5, already exists in Jackson, but now will have enough money to cover 35,000 children in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties.

Nissan says the money is meant to improve education in Mississippi.

Parents will be able to enroll children at preschools, libraries and community events. United Way will release more information later.