Madison Public Library’s We Read Program Returns with Activities for Kids and Families Throughout the Summer

MADISON, WI -- Madison Public Library’s summer We Read campaign is inspiring youth to keep reading and invites families to participate in fun, free library programs taking place in libraries, in parks, and around Madison all summer.

“Reading, playing and participating in fun activities over the summer helps kids maintain their learning while school’s out, keeps them engaged in positive activities and creates joyful memories!” said Youth Services Supervisor Tammy Ocampo.

To kick-off We Read, each Library will host a kick-off event in June where kids and families can work with a local artist to make their own self-portrait as part of the ongoing Our Town Everywhere project. The first event takes place June 5 at Meadowridge Library.

We Read Card Game: Inspiring Kids to Read
Starting June 8, kids can visit the library, the Dream Bus or a Parks Alive event to get their own free copy of the We Read Card Deck, a new activity that families can do at the library or from home. Pick up a card deck full of action cards that offer lots of different ways kids can connect with reading, form relationships and share what they’ve read with others. Each deck contains prize cards that families can enjoy once they’ve completed the action cards. Some action cards also give kids the chance to pick up a prize in-person at their local library or on the Dream Bus.

Bubbler Artists in the Neighborhood: Inspiring Kids to Create
Also, as part of We Read, the Bubbler Artist in the Neighborhood project will bring one local artist to each library this summer. From June-August, artists will host weekly open studio hours where kids and families can interact with them and create their own unique artwork. The projects at each location will be different and based on both the artists’ and the community’s interests and skills.

“Art is reading without words–we know everyone’s brains work differently (artists’ especially!) and it’s important to have multiple entry points for learners. By integrating a variety of artists' perspectives into We Read we can foster creative literacy and engage kids who aren’t drawn to reading or other forms of traditional literacy,” said Bubbler Program Assistant Carlee Latimer.

Youth Voices Writing Contest: Inspiring Kids to Share Their Stories
Finally, the We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest is wrapping up at the end of June. Kids 18 and under can submit a story, poem, song, etc. on the theme of Moving Forward - Together with the chance to win cash, take home prizes and get published. Submissions are due on or before June 30, 2023. Winners will be announced at the August 12 Forward Madison FC game at Breese Stevens Field, and the anthology will be completed and distributed later this fall. Read more about the contest online at

The We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest is hosted in collaboration with Forward Madison FC and the Wisconsin Book Festival, with funding from the Madison Public Library Foundation.

“However you engage with stories and books, writing, playing and creating this summer, just know that the Madison Public Library is here to support you,” said Ocampo.

Read more about all the ways you can interact with We Read at Madison Public Library this summer at

We Read is made possible thanks to support from Ascendium Education Group, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Madison Public Library Foundation, Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro, and David Wood & Jane Doughty.

2023 Summer Bubbler Artists in the Neighborhood:
  • Claudia Linnea at Alicia Ashman Library
  • Ella Deitz at Goodman South Madison Library
  • Christina Theobald at Hawthorne Library
  • Elias Mittelstadt at Lakeview Library
  • Lexie Olson at Meadowridge Library
  • Lelia Byron at Monroe Street Library
  • Annie Aker at Pinney Library
  • Rita Salm at Sequoya Library
Read artist bios and find weekly open studio times at

We Read Summer Kick-Off Dates: About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 145 years. Visit the library online at, madisonpubliclibrary on Facebook, @madisonlibrary on Twitter, or @madisonpubliclibrary on Instagram.



We Read Summer Kick-Off Dates with Bubbler Artists in the Neighborhood  2023
We Read Card Game 2023
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