Chicago Public Library hopes to give away 1 million free books, dozen to every child

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Public Library will give away over one million books to children across the city during Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge.

The one million book donation is the largest book giveaway ever by the Chicago Public Library, and is intended to encourage children to read more and develop their own personal library at home this summer, a news release from the mayor's office said.

Each year, Rahm's Readers calls upon children to read at least 20 minutes per day during out of school time.

The 2016 Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge runs from June 20 to September 1. Participants can sign up at their local library branch or find additional information at Upon signing up for this year's Rahm's Readers, children ages 0-5 will receive a new book donated by KPMG, and children of all ages will receive 12 new or gently-used books from Bernie's Book Bank when they register for the program.

For families with few or no books, the donation will ensure that children across the city have access to a diversity of reading materials, the news release said.

Many low-income families have less direct access to book ownership, with just one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods as compared with the 13 books for every child in middle-income neighborhoods, the mayor's office said.