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Harrah's Gulf Coast donating to Imagination Library

Harrah's Gulf Coast and Caesars Foundation will deliver a $10,000 grant to the United Way of South Mississippi Tuesday to provide books to local children as part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The philanthropic program provides 2,000 children in South Mississippi with a free book each month until the age of five, regardless of household income.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library hopes to foster a love of reading in young children and ensure that they are prepared to read at an age-appropriate level upon entering primary education.

"Since the first day we called South Mississippi our home, our company and team members, have helped champion United Way's cause because we believe it's imperative to grow and improve the communities in which we work and live," said Jonathan Jones, general manager of Harrah's Gulf Coast. "A lot of that growth and improvement starts with education, and that's a sentiment that is shared by Caesars Foundation."

More than 1,970 children are enrolled in the program, with 235 children on the waiting list. The $10,000 grant will enable United Way of South Mississippi to move 110 children off the program's current wait list.

Harrah's Gulf Coast also will donate an extra $15,000 to the United Way of South Mississippi. This contribution was raised in 2015 by the resort's team members through various fundraising activities.