Summer Learning Challenge

Helping Chicago’s kids learn and read to defeat the “summer slide”

Kids can lose a lot of learning over school breaks—but the Summer Learning Challenge is here to stop the slide. Over 10 weeks, this nationally recognized, free program reaches more than 100,000 Chicago children from birth to age 13. With a focus on helping kids develop a reading habit and get excited about STEAM learning, the SLC provides engaging themed programs, activities, books, and field trips that open up the city and the world to participants.

In-branch programming at Chicago Public Library is currently suspended as a safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we encourage patrons to engage with our Library’s robust suite of free virtual and take-away resources for children and families.

Learn the impact of your support. Read the 2019 Impact Report here.


total participants in 2017


million minutes were read last summer!


free books distributed in 2017 for kids to take home, thanks to Bernie’s Book Bank


each year supports this vital, innovative program.