Chicago Public Library Celebrates National Summer Learning Day

Over 300 Chicago kids participating in Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge celebrated with learning activities, free books and toys

Chicago Public Library today celebrated National Summer Learning Day with more than 300 children participating in learning activities and a story time with illustrator Bryan Collier, the National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) 2018 Summer Learning Ambassador. Each child also received a copy of Collier’s award-winning illustrated book Trombone Shorty, written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and toys donated by Hilco Global and Cradles to Crayons.

"Students across Chicago are staying engaged with the Summer Learning Challenge and preparing for success when school resumes this fall," said Mayor Emanuel. "The critical thinking and creative skills students develop through Rahm's Readers will help them hit the ground running on day one of the new school year, and will stay with them long after summer is over as they prepare for college, career and future success."

Children in attendance were treated with a special story time with Collier, accompanied by live a live jazz trombonist. Each child in attendance received a free copy of Trombone Shorty courtesy of Clear Channel Outdoor the media partner of NSLA. Over 300 children in attendance participated in a series of hands-on learning activities, courtesy of the Library’s 2018 Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge partners, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Public Library Foundation and funders, The Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and Chicago Public Schools.

Participating kids also received a pack of toys generously donated by Hilco Global and Cradles to Crayons, whose staff volunteered during the event. Additional toy packs are available at CPL branches for children who participate in the Summer Learning Challenge and enter weekly give-aways. The toy donation, part of an ongoing company program “Hilco Helps”, contributes to Hilco’s annual community service commitment.

“The obvious value of the Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge is the boost in students’ academic gains after keeping their minds active during the summer months,” said Commissioner Brain Bannon. “Providing additional incentives to keep kids learning, creating and discovering this summer is possible thanks to our outstanding institutional and corporate partnerships and ongoing support through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.”

National Summer Learning Day highlights the importance of kids continuing to learn and stay active during the summer, and to combat the “summer slide” where children can lose up to three months of math and science learning if they do not remain engaged in learning. Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge was designed to ensure that children return to school ready to succeed. Through CPL’s strategic partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry, the Summer Learning Challenge embeds STEAM programming as a vital track of learning in the summer months. Kids are encouraged to engage in various critical thinking, creation and design activities to encourage creativity, problem solving and persistence. Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge runs through September 1. To find out more about the Summer Learning Challenge, visit

Those in attendance today included Jeffrey Hecktman, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Hilco Global, Bernard Cherkasov, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons, and NSLA President and Founder, Dr. Matthew Boulay. Jason D. King, Wendy Weatherford and Ed Marcin represented Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.

The 2018 Summer Learning Challenge is made possible in great part by Lead Corporate Sponsor Wintrust; the Helen M. Harrison Foundation; the Walter E. Heller Foundation; Peoples Gas; PNC Bank; Macy’s; Paul M. Angell Foundation; Boeing; Cubs Care; a McCormick Foundation Fund; Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; Westinghouse Electric Company; and other generous donors to the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

About Chicago Public Library

Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit To follow CPL on social media, visit us on Twitter (@chipublib) or Facebook (Chicago Public Library).