About us

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Our vision

At Spark! we want to build excitement and enjoyment in reading in all our local schools. We believe that children should have access to a wide range of quality literature that both engages them and represents all readers from across our diverse communities. At this difficult time for everyone, we believe in the life-changing power of stories.

Our mission

Our aim is to appeal to every child, not just those who are already enthusiastic readers (of which there are many in our schools). We are determined to reach those pupils who do not always have access to new exciting books, as well as those who feel less engaged and cannot see themselves or their lives represented in the books available.

Above all, we want all children to develop a lasting love of reading.

Our approach

Through giving children the power to choose the winner of their own awards, and hosting competitions for schools, we have been able to develop a buzz of excitement and greater talk about new books.

Our online Q&A sessions with authors and illustrators ensure that all children have the chance to meet and talk to the very people who created their favourite books. These sessions help bring the texts to life and build the confidence in our children to see themselves as writers and the ambition that they might one day do the same.

We recognise that schools and families can not always afford new books, and by linking with local Regency bookshop in Surbiton, we have been able to offer books at discounted prices and, through donations made to the Spark! Book Fund, put books in the hands of disadvantaged children as nominated by their teachers.

Learn more about our award categories

Our history

We were founded in 2020 - in the middle of a pandemic - by a small independent team, who have been supported by Achieving for Children and Kingston and Richmond Councils. Hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm, hard work and support of local teachers, librarians and other professionals for this initiative, we have seen that demand for such an initiative is huge and as we move into a second year, we look to involve more and more schools in our vision.

The Spark! Awards is in the process of becoming a registered charity.

"We have participated in other book awards in the past, but these awards have been especially exciting, engaging and inspiring for the girls – particularly as the whole school could get involved."

REBECCA ROUILLARD, HOLY CROSS PREPARATORY SCHOOL