Conservation and You

sprouting plant

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Conservation involves taking an active role in caring for our natural resources, such as soil, water, air and plants. Zoos are important leaders in conservation efforts that help make sure living things are healthy and protected. You can be a conservation leader right here in Chicago. Planting native […]

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Animals at Work

honey bee on a flower

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Animals work hard to find food, build their homes and care for their young. Sometimes the work that animals do affects humans, too. Did you know that the actions of bees help produce many foods humans eat, such as chocolate, apples and watermelons? As bees search for nectar, […]

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Everybody Eats

hummingbird eating

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder While birds vary in size, color and shape, they all have beaks. These beaks are tools that help birds gather and capture their good. You can tell what kind of food a bird eats just by looking at its beak! Hummingbirds have long, skinny beaks that help them […]

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Susan Goldman Rubin Q&A

Freedom School Class
Source: Wisconsin Historical Society

Find out more about award winning biographer, Susan Goldman Rubin, July’s Author of the Month. She remembers her childhood love of books and reading, how she got her start and the inspiration behind her new book Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Where did you get the idea for this book? […]

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Author of the Month Susan Goldman Rubin

Photo of Susan Goldman Rubin

On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed of the Civil Rights act, making segregation, the practice of having separate facilities, such as bathrooms or drinking fountains, for African Americans, illegal. During that same summer, white college students from across the United States traveled to Mississippi to register African American voters and set up schools to […]

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Spark Your Independence


With a pop, sizzle and boom the 4th of July announces itself every year. American’s love their independence and celebrate it every year with parades, picnics and, of course, fireworks. What is the science behind these colorful loud presentations that we all love so much? Susan Kuklin does a bang up job of explaining this […]

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Build the Ultimate Predator

Ultimate predator model

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Living things share habitats and interact with each other, and this is especially true at mealtime! Animals that hunt and eat other animals are called predators. The animals they eat are called prey. Predators and prey have adaptations to help them hunt and evade each other. For example, […]

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Built to Survive

polar bear and cub

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Have you ever thought about why giraffes have such long necks or how polar bears are able to survive in the arctic? Animals have special characteristics, called adaptations, that help them survive in their habitat. Different types of adaptations serve different purposes. The giraffe’s long neck helps it […]

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Author of the Month Brenda Woods

Author Brenda Woods

Violet’s world blooms when she finally meets her father’s mother and discovers the African American side of her family in The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods, June’s Author of the Month. Violet has always felt like a piece of herself is missing growing up as a bi-racial child […]

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Brenda Woods Q&A


Get to know Coretta Scott King Honor winning novelist Brenda Woods, June’s Author of the Month. She explains the inspiration behind her lastest novel The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond, what got her started in writing and her love of Chicago. Where did you get your idea for this book? The idea for The Blossoming […]

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