Black Hills Reads Programs

Black Hills Reads Logo


Black Hills Reads helps to ensure children are proficient readers by the end of third grade.

Learn more about our various programs below.

Baby's First Book Bag Logo. Text says "Building Strong Readers"

Baby’s First Book Bag

The purpose of the Baby's First Book Bag program is to provide at-risk families in the Black Hills additional resources to build a home library. The goal of this program is to help parents feel confident about reading to their children and give them tools to be successful.
For more information, please contact the Black Hills Reads Director at
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Logo with illustration of a train coming out of a book

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a program funded by United Way of the Black Hills to allow children ages 0-5 to receive an age appropriate book mailed to their home once a month. 
For more information about the program, and to learn how to participate, visit our Imagination Library Program Page
Power Hour Virtual Learning Event

Power Hour 

Power Hour is an interactive, virtual learning event for child care providers and other early learning professionals in South Dakota. Providers can expect to hear from amazing speakers, participate in breakout conversations for reflection and collaboration, and have the opportunity to win prizes during each quarterly event. Learn more about upcoming Power Hour events by visiting the Black Hills Reads Facebook Page
Race to Read Book Logo

Annual Race to Read Challenge

Each year, Black Hills Reads hosts a statewide 'Race to Read Challenge' in which readers across the state accumulate ‘miles’ for every book they read. These miles are then used to determine how far our figurative book mobile travels as we ‘race’ around the state! The goal with this challenge is to get kids and adults alike excited about reading. As such, any school, community organization, business, individual, or family in SD are welcome to participate!

For more information about this year's challenge, visit our Race to Read Challenge page.

Illustration of an owl reading a book

Young Readers One Book 

Each year, Black Hills Reads partners with the SD Humanities Council and other local organizations to bring students across the Black Hills the selected 'Young Readers One Book' (YROB) for the current year.

Teacher/parent supplemental materials are provided along with fun Black Hills Reads swag for the students. There is also an opportunity for students to meet the author of current year's book in person or via live stream during the annual Festival of Books.

For more information about this year's events, visit our Young Readers One Book page

Explore Your Next Chapter


Young Writers 3rd Grade Writing Contest

Young Writers 3rd Grade Writing Contest 

Each year, Black Hills Reads hosts a writing contest for all third graders in the Black Hills. During the 2022 contest, every 3rd grader who entered received a free ticket to a Rush game. Plus, each category winner won a special visit from Nugget at school, and a family pass to a Rush game. Writers submitted short stories or poems based on themes from this year's Young Readers One Book. Stay tuned for details about the 2023 contest.