Sign Up for the Summer Learning Challenge: Building Stories

When you look around the city, what do you see? Chicago is full of interesting buildings, parks, neighborhoods and people!

Kids 0 to 13 can join Building Stories, Chicago Public Library's drop-in Summer Learning Challenge, from July 6 to August 15 at their neighborhood library, online and at home. We'll explore science and art in the architecture around us. Build your own stories in all kinds of ways, at the library, in your community or on your own. Things will look a little different this year, but Chicago Public Library is always here to support summer learning. CPL will offer virtual events, including STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities, music performances and story times, as well as grab-and-go activity kits and new books to keep kids' brains active.

Sign Up

Register below or head to your neighborhood library to register for Building Stories: Summer Learning Challenge 2020. At the library, you can pick up an Explorer's Guide—an activity book filled with activities to try at the library or at home. You'll find puzzles, design challenges and hands-on STEAM activities in the Explorer's Guide and online. 

Sign-up for the Summer Learning Challenge has ended.


Use the log in the Explorer's Guide or download and print a PDF of the English log or Spanish log to track what you do this summer:

  • Read: 500 minutes or more over the summer. Read books, magazines, comics, eBooks, audiobooks or anything else you want, for at least 20 minutes a day—all reading counts!
  • Discover: Complete at least one hands-on activity. Try a library activity, try a Museum of Science and Industry Summer Brain Game or other STEAM activity or explore something new.
  • Create: Make at least one creation. Make art, write a story or design something new.

Prizes and Giveaways

Share what you read and learn to earn your book bag. You can share at the library, online and on social media using the hashtag #CPLkids. Kids 0 to 5 who register receive a free book from KPMG (while supplies last).

Parents and Caregivers

Parents and caregivers who read, discover and create along with their children and complete a Family Learning Log (available in English or Spanish) will have a chance to win a technology prize package.

About the Summer Learning Challenge

The Summer Learning Challenge is in partnership with the City of Chicago, My CHI My Future, Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago Architecture Biennial, David L. Hoyt Educational Foundation, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Open Books and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

The 2020 Summer Learning Challenge is made possible by KPMG; Exelon; the Helen M. Harrison Foundation; Wintrust; 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project; Boeing; the Walter E. Heller Foundation; the James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation; Northern Trust; Peoples Gas Community Fund; Cubs Charities Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Macy's, Inc.; Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; Evergreen Real Estate LLC; and other generous donors to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, opens a new window.