YR Program

Chautauqua Institution is a community that values and celebrates reading, and since 1994, the CLSC Young Readers program has engaged young Chautauquans and community members in the enjoyment of good reading. Each summer, a selection of books are chosen for their quality, the variety of their styles and subjects, and their appeal to young readers.  While aimed at 9- to 14-year-olds, these books will also delight younger and older readers.

For 2020 CLSC Young Readers program information, please visit the CHQ Clubhouse on Facebook or Instagram.


The Program

In addition to reading the summer's selections, youth are invited to attend the related weekly program, usually held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays throughout the Chautauqua season. The program includes a brief book discussion followed by a presentation or activity led by community leaders, local organizations, and sometimes even the authors themselves.

While the most important feature of the Young Readers program is reading, all levels of participation are important and are encouraged — from reading only one of the selections to reading them all.  The weekly programs are open to all youth, and reading the week's selection is encouraged but not required for attendance.

Medallion Award

CLSC young readers logo 2The Young Readers medallion rewards young Chautauquans who read 16 books from the program's historic book list. The medallion is made possible by the John H. Bliss Memorial Fund and the support of the CLSC Class of 2002. 

Young Readers Historic Book List


2020 CLSC Young Readers Book List

 2020 Young Readers Book List


View Online Catalog and Register

We’ve taken Chautauqua’s beloved Special Studies program online! Visit Chautauqua’s new online classroom where patrons can enroll in master and enrichment classes from your home this summer and year-round.

The 2020 online experience offers classes for youth and adults in subjects ranging from art, music, photography, culinary arts, religion and philosophy, to fitness, dance, history, literature and writing. Enjoy Chautauqua’s unique learning experience and enrich your mind, body and spirit online!


Visit our online classroom to view the full catalog of master and enrichment classes and to register. Course descriptions provide information about class format and delivery methods and any prerequisites or other requirements for enrollment. You do not need to create an account in order to review the catalog, but you will be prompted to create an account should you wish to register for a class.

Additional courses will be included in the catalog during the coming months, signified with a "Newly Added" icon.  

To be added to our mailing list for future course catalogs, please click here to send a request or call 716-357-6200.

Teaching at Chautauqua

To learn more about teaching a class at Chautauqua, please visit our Instructor Portal at the link below. The deadline to teach a course for the 2021 summer assembly season is October 1, 2020.

Instructor Portal