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Mayor, Former Bear Issue Reading Challenge To Kids

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije are challenging the city’s kids to read a lot more books this summer.

WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports the mayor and Idonije have told children participating in the city’s summer reading program that they’ll jump into Lake Michigan for next winter’s Polar Plunge if the kids can read 2 million books this summer.

So will Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon.

“The mayor talked about coming up with some big feat, or exciting thing that we could do together, if we met our targets for reading,” Bannon said.

The lake is typically about 42 degrees in March, at the time of the city’s annual Polar Plunge.

“I’m a pretty hearty guy, I’m sure the mayor and Israel are too, so we’re going to have a lot of fun with it,” Bannon said.

Last summer, Chicago kids read 1.5 million books in the city’s annual summer reading program.

This year’s program started June 17, and ends Aug. 10. It encourages kids to read for at least 300 minutes during the summer, and as much as 20 minutes a day every day.

For more on the summer reading program, and a list of suggested books, click here.

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