2023 Race to Read Challenge

Race to Read Challenge Logo

Welcome to the 2023 Race to Read Challenge!

January 9th - March 2nd, 2023



Week 7 Final Results Map for the Race to Read Challenge showing the book mobile traveling all the way around SD.
Final results map for this year's Race to Read Challenge. 

Black Hills Reads is pleased to announce the final numbers of this year's Race to Read Challenge! Starting on Jan. 9 and ending on March 2, Race to Read challenged readers, young and old, to record how many books they read. For every 25 books completed, a fictional car drove one mile on a road trip across South Dakota.

With a whopping 1,982 readers participating during the challenge’s last week, the imaginary road-tripping car was able to put some serious miles behind it. Our grand total was 58,750 books read statewide! Everyone read so many books that we ‘drove’ 2,350 miles around South Dakota and made it back to Rapid City.

Thank you to everyone who participated during this year's challenge!

To see all of the winners, visit the Black Hills Reads Facebook page


What is the 2023 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. 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 9th and end March 2nd - Dr. Suess' Birthday! 

Even if you don't sign up to participate at the beginning, feel free to email us at racetoreadsd@gmail.com 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.
  • 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.
  • A Google 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 & ExtrasRace to Read Printable Map

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 Hanna@unitedwayblackhills.org.

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.

Informational Flyer: Find all the information you need to know about this year's challenge by downloading our Race to Read Flyer.

Ready to participate?

Sign up by clicking the button below or email racetoreadsd@gmail.com.