Tuesday Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Summer of Learning initiative.
More than 140 community groups will provide children with a place to stay busy and safe.
As part of the program, they'll earn digital badges for finishing learning activities, including field trips and team projects.
Mayor Emanuel told ABC 7 political reporter Charles Thomas that he wants students to retain what they've learned during the school year.
"The goal here is, while the summer is a point of relaxation, or recreation, it should be a time of reading," Emanuel said. "While it should be a time of leisure it should also be a time of learning."
Organizations that have joined the summer learning initiative include the Field Museum, the Joffrey Ballet and the Black Star Project.