A great kid friendly free activity from June 14 thru August 7, 2010 in Chicago is the Chicago Public Library’s 2010 Summer Reading Program.   All Chicago neighborhood public libraries participate in this eight week summer reading program which encourages children to read and enjoy books during the summer months.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating art and reading everyday.”   The 2010 Summer Reading Program is a project of the Chicago Public Library Foundation in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago.   Children are encouraged to read and report on books of their choice; attend and participate in specially designed programs that revolve around the themes of art and reading; and participate in raffles and contests.   The program is open to children and teens up to 14 years old.

Some features of the program are that emerging readers who complete 25 books and children reading chapter books who complete 10 books receive a tee shirt with a program logo.   All readers receive a certificate at the end of the program.   Readers and their families will be invited to attend Reader’s Night at the Art Institute of Chicago.

For residents of the North Center, Lincoln Square, and Ravenswood neighborhoods, the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library located at 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue just north of Montrose Avenue is a convenient location to.   The Sulzer Library has a large children’s section which provides ample selections for Summer Reading Program participants.   It is conveniently located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood across from Welles Park and close to shops and restaurants along Lincoln Avenue.

The Chicago Public Library began the Summer Reading Program in 1977 to encourage children to read during the summer months when they are out of school.   Research has shown that children who read during the summer improve their reading skills.   For more information, please visit

The Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Program is a good impetus for family visits to their neighborhood libraries.   They might just visit new places they read about without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team

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