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United Way of The Black Hills

Race to Read

Welcome to the 2024 Race to Read Challenge!

January 8th – March 2nd, 2024

Download the Race to Read PDF Information Flyer

What is the 2024 Race to Read Challenge?

This year, we are RACING to READ across South Dakota! Readers across the state will accumulate ‘miles’ for every book read. Our figurative Book Mobile will race around our state toward great prizes!

The Race to Read Challenge is brought to you by Black Hills Reads, a Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Initiative. Our overall goal is to help children reach reading proficiency and support partners in this process. Half the battle of helping a child reach reading proficiency is getting the child excited about reading.



Black Hills Reads has had tremendous success getting children and organizations to host reading events in the Black Hills area. Now we want to share this enthusiasm with the rest of South Dakota and see what achievements we can make as a state! This process supports multi-generations with adults supporting and becoming a positive role model for young children.


Any school, classroom, community organization, library, for-profit business, individual or family in South Dakota that would like to compete in a reading challenge! Prizes will be divided into 4 categories:

Individual | Family | Organization (up to 30 participants) | Community (more than 30 participants)


The challenge will officially begin on January 8th and end March 2nd – Dr. Suess’ Birthday! Sign up by filling out this online form.

Even if you don’t sign up to participate at the beginning, feel free to email us at and join at any time.

There will be PRIZES for the most books read!

$650+ in prizes will be up for grabs! The prizes will be split up into four categories with gift card prizes for the top reader(s) in each category:

  • Individual – $50
  • Family – $100
  • Organization – $200
    • Up to 30 people
    • Could include banks, preschools, daycares, businesses, etc.
  • Communities – $300
    • 30+ people
    • Could include school districts, a chamber-run event, libraries getting the community involved, etc.
  • This prize money is for ACTUAL BOOKS READ. Does not include bonus books from the challenges.

Additional prizes will be added to incentivize the bonus challenges we will be throwing out there (read to an animal, read in an unlikely place, etc.). We want more of our participants to post on Facebook, so we will be giving out additional prizes to the reader(s) who participate in the most challenges. 

  • Individual/Family – $50
  • Organization/Community – $100

The Process

Every 25 books read = 1 mile “driven” (including audiobooks). 

  • All books read by participants in South Dakota will count towards our overall miles.
  • An online form will be sent to all participants every week to collect weekly reading numbers. This will allow Black Hills Reads to track the state-wide progress.
  • Once the virtual car reaches your community, feel free to host a celebration! Celebrate our success as a state and our collective reading achievements!
  • $650+ in gift card prizes will be awarded to the highest reading individuals, families, organizations and communities.
  • There will also be opportunities to earn ‘bonus points’ and extra prizes on our Black Hills Reads Facebook page.

Event Funding

Celebration money available: Black Hills Reads has mini grants available to organizations and communities who want to throw a Race to Read party or event for their readers!

  • Organizations (up to 30 participants) may qualify for a $150 mini grant.
  • Communities (more than 30 participants) may qualify for a $300 mini grant.

To apply, click HERE or email

Race to Read Map

Downloadable map and cars for print: Would you like track your own reading progress or the ‘miles driven’ by your family, classroom, or organization throughout the challenge? If so, you may download a printable version of the Race to Read map and cars HERE.

Race to Read Reading Tracker

Downloadable reading tracker: Keep track of all the books you read each week with our reading log template! You may download a printable version of the Race to Read Reading Tracker HERE.

Ready to participate?

Sign up by clicking the button below or email

© 2024 United Way of The Black Hills