Support Chicago Public Library with a gift of any level.

This Year’s Summer Learning Challenge Encourages Kids to Travel on Planes, Trains, Automobiles…and Even Time Travel.

The Chicago Public Library has your summer vacation covered. Ticket price: your library card.

Thanks once again to our generous sponsors, who make the Summer Learning Challenge possible: Boeing, The James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation, KPMG, William Blair, Dr. Scholl Foundation, Helen M. Harrison Foundation, United, Walter E. Heller Foundation, Hyatt, Cubs Care, RR Donnelley, Field Foundation of Illinois, PNC Bank, Daniel F. and Ada Rice Foundation, Verizon, and 93.9MYfm.

This year’s Summer Learning Challenge theme is “Explore on the Go!” to highlight the centennial celebration of our major sponsor, Boeing. For 10 fun-filled weeks, kids will explore various modes of travel and transportation: cars, trains, boats, planes – and yes, even time travel — in a series of science, technology, engineering, art, math, and reading related activities.


The Summer Learning Challenge is a series of “leveled” activities that include:

  • 500 minutes of reading

  • Successful completion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Brain Games designed by the Museum of Science and Industry

  • Letting their creativity shine through maker/art projects;

  • Field trips to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Aviation; and

  • Performances

Everyone who participates in this year’s program will receive an Explorer’s Guide, which features activities in the categories of Read, Discover, Create and Achieve. Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) experts have also contributed a variety of hands-on, STEM Brain Games that kids and parents can experiment with using everyday household materials.

At each level, students will receive an incentive to continue achieving, such as an Explore on the Go! Tote bag, weekly book and prize raffles.

CPL recognizes that travel doesn’t have to happen on the road or in the air. It can happen by the beauty of imagination. Thanks to the generosity of corporate partners, CPL is giving away 1 million books! KPMG has donated 50,000 transportation-themed books for early readers ages 0-5 which they will receive when they register. Through a partnership with Bernie’s Book Bank and William Blair, children who enroll in the program will receive a bag with 12 free books.

Thanks once more to our wonderful program sponsors for their contributions to what promises to be another record-breaking summer of learning! To sign up for the program visit To make a gift that funds children’s learning programs, like the Summer Learning Challenge, visit us at