a child smiling whilst reading a book

Stoke Reads invites you on a Story Quest this Easter


By Frances Tidy, for Stoke Reads and the National Literacy Trust.

This Easter, Stoke Reads, the literacy hub from the National Literacy Trust, and the Dudson Museum are launching a new Story Quest trail around the Hanley based museum titled The Clinkers.

Written and illustrated by local creative Kidda Kinsey, this free and interactive story trail invites families with primary school aged children to explore the museum, complete various pottery themed challenges, and discover fun facts about Stoke’s rich ceramic heritage.

Levels of reading enjoyment were at one of their lowest in 2022, according to research from the National Literacy Trust, with fewer than 1 in 2 (47.8%) children aged 8 – 18 saying that they enjoy reading. Creating immersive story adventures such as Story Quest is great for improving children’s reading enjoyment by adding fun physical and written challenges. 

Story Quest is a National Literacy Trust initiative of self-guided trails to inspire families across the city to read together, it helps parents and carers to support their children’s literacy skills. The new trail explores the magical world of The Clinkers, little Staffordshire Figurines, who come alive overnight and need the readers’ help to remake a broken green tulip jug.

The activity supports the Dudson Museum’s education programme, which provides engaging curriculum-based activities and offers a range of interactive workshops for children to learn about the history of the pottery industry in an engaging way. Its new partnership with Stoke Reads is managed by the charity VAST.

To celebrate the release of The Clinkers, Stoke Reads is hosting a launch event on Wednesday 5 April, 11:00-14:00, at the Dudson Museum in Hanley. Families are welcomed to attend this free event and enjoy activities, including:   

  • The story trail to enter the hidden world of The Clinkers   
  • Storytelling sessions from local performer Alan Barrett  
  • Colouring activities and paper mosaic workshops run by the Dudson Museum  
  • Exploring the iconic bottle oven in the Grade II listed heritage site  
  • Choosing a free book to take home  

Copies of the Story Quest are available to collect from the Dudson Centre’s reception or can soon be downloaded at storyquest.org.uk for families to enjoy as a self-guided trail.  

Lois Bateman, Hub Manager for Stoke Reads, said: “We know that when young people think of reading, often they imagine sitting on their own with a book – and this doesn’t appeal to everyone.  

“That’s why our Story Quests are so impactful – they encourage children and their families to see reading in a new light by exploring their community spaces and getting active. By nurturing these positive interactions with literacy-based activity, we can help children to develop the skills they need to succeed in life.”  

Jackie Wheeler, Facilities Manager for VAST, said: “We are so excited to welcome Stoke’s families to the launch of The Clinkers. Since receiving a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2022, we have been able to develop a broad education programme which makes visits to our cherished heritage site more accessible for local education providers, children, and families. 

“Working with the National Literacy Trust and Stoke Reads on this Story Quest has created a wonderful and inclusive addition to that programme, helping us to engage children and young people of all educational abilities by making reading fun, active, and adventurous.” 

Website: The Dudson Museum

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