Black Hills Reads Events




Writing Challenge

When: October 1-31

Who: Any third grader in the Black Hills 

What: Write either a short story (300 words maximum) or poem about MYSTERY IN THE BLACK HILLS or EXPLORING YOUR NEXT CHAPTER

To be eligible, participants must include the following information when submitting their writing for this contest:

  • First and Last Name
  • School or Organization
  • Town/City
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

There will be three winners for each category. Entries will be judged on:

  • Short Stories
    • Main idea & focus
    • Plot & narrative devices
    • Organization
    • Voice
  • Poems
    • Topic focus
    • Creativity
    • Title
    • Imagery

Prizes will include

  • Gift certificates
  • Books
  • Journals
  • More

Students may submit either handwritten or typed documents and either electronically or by traditional mail.

  • If submitting electronically, please email to
  • If submitting by traditional mail, please send to:
    • Young Writers 3rd Grade Contest
      c/o United Way of the Black Hills
      621 6th St. #100
      Rapid City, SD 57701
  • If submitting by dropbox, please use the dropbox at the back of United Way and date the package.
  • Traditional mail entries must be postmarked by November 1st. Electronic and dropoff entries must be submitted by November 1st.



Black Hills Reads is pleased to collaborate once again with the SD Humanities Council to Bring the Black Hills the
2022 Young Readers One Book South Dakota, Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin.

More information coming soon. Final event will be September 22, 2022.

See the replay of the YouTube live event here.


Smashie McPerter



Date TBD

The purpose of this event is to encourage and show the importance of literacy to all ages in your community. This toolkit is being provided to you by Black Hills Reads, United Way of the Black Hills in order to allow you guidance to host an event with all of the tools necessary! Black Hills Reads encourages the host entity to engage the community in order to get youth and adults alike, excited and engaged in reading.


Anyone and everyone is welcome to join– this is a community focused event! For every book read, you will get a strip of paper and you will write the name of your book on that strip of paper. The host entity of this event (that’s you!) will choose how entities/individuals will return the strips of paper and how they get them for when the event begins. Once you receive all strips back it will end by connecting all the strips in a chain link, representing how many books have been read in the community as a collective. You, as the host entity, will plan for a big celebration on a set date to ‘show off’ your efforts! Sound fun? We think so too! If you are interested, keep reading for more details on how to make this a reality.  


Any organization, nonprofit or for-profit may host the event. (this entity will be known as the host entity in this document) It is highly encouraged to allow anyone and everyone in the community to participate including local businesses, summer programs, schools, etc.
Any organizations/individuals participating will write on and keep their strips prior to the event. (strips are explained in first paragraph of this document)
Click the links below to register and get involved! 
Host Entity Sign-up form
Race to Read Flyer
Race to Read Editable Flyer