By Bianca Peters

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — Vending machines will soon be offering more than just junk food.

Children in South Florida will soon be able to get free books from vending machines.

Thanks to a new reading program, four vending machines will be installed Tuesday throughout Broward County to distribute 100,000 children’s books. This year the program is adding bilingual Spanish and English books.

The program is partnership between JetBlue and Random House Children’s Books to help combat book deserts, areas where children and their families have little or no access to purchase age-appropriate books, which can stunt academic development. The machines previously visited Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Last year, the public selected Fort Lauderdale as part of the online #BookBattle voting competition. This year, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are competing to receive a book donation in 2018.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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