Summer Reading Program

Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Program: Explore and Soar

Travel to the outer limits of space at your neighborhood library from June 8 through September 1 as we Explore and Soar through Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge!

This free, drop-in program is for kids 13 and under. During the Summer Learning Challenge, CPL locations will offer new books about outer space and space travel, hundreds of family programs, art projects, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities and many more ways for kids to keep their brains active.

Kids 5 to 13 can start today start by printing your very own Summer Learning Challenge Log or by registering at any CPL location. Then complete the challenge:

  • READ: 20 minutes a day, every day. Read 500 minutes to reach the goal. Books, magazines, eBooks, audiobooks — all reading counts!
  • DISCOVER: Complete a Brain Game or other STEAM project; visit the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium or another museum; attend a library program; or explore an interactive learning website.
  • CREATE: Create a piece of art; complete a Challenge Card with our Curiosity Kits; write a story or poem; design or build something.
  • ACHIEVE: Kids who read for 500 minutes, complete one discover activity and one create activity by August 1 will receive a glow-in-the-dark book bag!
  • Keep reading and learning to be entered into a raffle for an eReader.

Explore More! from August 1 to September 1: Read 20 minutes a day and complete five activities to receive a prize.

School-age learners are can join our First Contact contest to win a bag of books. All children are eligible to win free books and passes to the Brookfield Zoo through weekly raffles. Parents and caregivers can enter a tech package raffle by reflecting on the learning they do with their children.

Have an out-of-this-world summer with Explore and Soar!

Looking for science fun over the summer? 
Check out the Museum of Science and Industry's Fun and Free Science Activities

Summer Brain Games from the Museum of Science and Industry
Get ready to grow some outdoor fun with MSI's Summer Brain Games. The free online activity guide features weekly experiments exploring summer themes like gardening, kite flying, sunlight and sprinklers - all easily mastered at home. Register today and you’ll receive a voucher good for a FREE Museum Entry at MSI this summer, as well as the chance to win other prizes.

Explore and Roar at the Chicago Public Library this Summer!

Dates:  June 9 - August 2, 2014.

  • Read – Students will read for a minimum of 300 minutes. Chicago Public Library
     encourages students to read or 
    listen to texts of all kinds, including books, magazines and newspapers, and online 
    sites such as vetted databases or websites. 
  • Discover – Students will complete a minimum of one discover activity. Studentswill discover by 
    attending a program, 
    visiting a museum, completing a Brain Builder or STEM 
    activity, or visiting an interactive learning website. 
  • Create – Students will complete a minimum of one create activity. Creation includes 
    making art, cooking, performing, writing, or completing design challenges.

Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Program - Rahm's Readers: Full STEAM Ahead

Dates: June 17, 2013 - August 10, 2013  

Get on board as we travel Full STEAM Ahead, bringing the best of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math to the Chicago Public Library!  Challenge yourself this summer with a redesigned Summer Learning Challenge, where you will Read, Learn, Discover and Create.

Get on board! Win prizes!
Help us beat last year's record —
60,000 kids read 1.5 million books.

We have great ways to keep your brain busy this summer.  Read books for fun.  Learn at our special science and engineering programs. Discover online science sites.  Create art and design challenges at the Chicago Public Library.  Choose your adventure this summer. Explore the city, earn digital badges and build your future, click here 

How Do I Participate?


  • Read at least 300 minutes: Fiction books, informational books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers and ebooks are great ways to experience the world and are all available at the Chicago Public Library. Read 20 minutes a day every day. A great way to do this is by reading aloud as a family.


  • Complete 1 Learn activity: Participate in programs at your library where storytellers, scientists, engineers and artists come to you! Take a family field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry or complete one of their Summer Brain Games (click here).
    • Systemwide Programs
      • Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: "Froebel Block Workshop”
      • High Touch High Tech: “Globs, Goo, and Guts!”
      • James Dyson Foundation: "Engineering with Dyson”
      • Kidworks Touring Theatre: “Building Teams with S.T.E.A.M”
      • Mad Science: “Heroes of Science”
      • Mini Mad Science: “Sea, Sand & Surf”
      • Project Syncere: “Empowerment Through Engineering”
      • Rick Kelley: "The Math and Science Behind Making MUSIC"
      • Ruth Loveless: “Family Math Games”
      • Science Alliance: “Close Encounters of the Chemical Kind”
      • Scribblemonster: “Music, Movement and Curiosity with Scribblemonster”
      • Steve Musgrave: “Nature Drawing with Steve Musgrave”
      • The Tales & Trails Storytellers: “Seekers and Dreamers in Science and Story”



For more information, contact the Toman Library or call Children and Young Adult Services at (312) 747-4780.

Choose your adventure this summer. Explore the city, earn digital badges and build your

The Chicago Public Library presents the Summer Learning Challenge in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Museum of Science and Industry, Art Institute of Chicago, Goodman Theatre and the National Summer Learning Association.

The Summer Learning Challenge is sponsored by James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation, Cubs Care, Dr. Scholl Foundation, Kraft Foods Foundation, Macy’s Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Helen M. Harrison Foundation, RR Donnelley, ComEd, RPM Advertising and the Pearson Foundation through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.