Reading Sparks

Reading Sparks

Photo of Konnie Huq holding an upside down glass of water over a boy's head. She has a shocked expression and the boy is smiling.

What is Reading Sparks?

Reading Sparks harnesses the creative power of reading to engage families with STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and maths) and build science confidence in communities living in deprived parts of England.  

The project is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries with funding from Arts Council England and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). 

How it works

As part of the Reading Sparks pilot, library partners gave reading and STEM book and activity boxes to families particularly disadvantaged by the pandemic. Using supporting resources, they worked with young people in different settings to develop positive, confidence-building reading and STEM activities for young people aged 14-18. Working with library staff and youth workers, participants designed new digital and in-person reading and science activities for families with children aged 4-11. 

Thanks to continued support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Reading Sparks is now entering phase 2, where libraries will offer sessions of their choice and design to the groups they wish to work with,  using our exciting, engaging resources.  

If you have any questions about Reading Sparks or how your library service can get involved, please get in touch.

Our evaluation shows that Reading Sparks builds confidence and engagement with STEM among children, young people and families and demonstrates the important role that creativity and reading play in sparking engagement with a wide range of subjects and topics.   

Following the successful pilot (and subsequent national roll-out) in 2021-2022, The Reading Agency is now developing its future Reading Sparks engagement activity for use by library services and other stakeholders.  

Graphic with stack of books

Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education 

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1 in 4 children don’t reach the expected level of reading by the age of 11

If you have a Reading Sparks subscription you can access supporting resources here:

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Discover the thrilling world of Trevor Wood. An exhilarating standalone thriller from the acclaimed author of The Man on the Street. It wasn't her dad…

Photo of two girls in school uniform reading books and smiling

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Head to our Reading Sparks platform to share your projects and see what others are up to.

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