“Race to Read” day in Rapid City stresses importance of summertime reading

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Thursday is “Race to Read” day in Rapid City. The mayor, firefighters, police and hundreds of kids gathered at Memorial Park to celebrate the summer reading competition that has been going on since June 3.

These links represent more than 8,000 books read by kids and adults of the United Way’s Black Hills Reads program.

“Reading is a foundation for any child’s education and it’s a vital piece of their educational journey and so just getting the books in front of them but then also giving them a big celebration to highlight their accomplishments is key,” Klein said.

This ‘Race to Read’ competition started on June 3 and ended Thursday prime summertime for these students.

“This is where our education takes a dip but quality programs like we have here today, the YMCA, YFS, Girls Inc., they are all a piece of keeping kiddos reading all summer long and it is vital that they keep reading so that they don’t miss out on their educational opportunities going into their next school year,” Klein said.

Rapid City Mayor, Steve Allender, proclaimed Thursday as “Race to Read” day.

“Reading is so important for these kids, they can do it and their job be to have fun and read fun books. But the adults really have a role here, to keep the kids learning and keep reading to them and encouraging them to read because all of these little kids out here are going to grow up and replace us all, that’s the way the world works and it’s important for them to be ready to do that,” Allender said.

The kids stretched out the links around Memorial Park to just how many books they read this summer. Zacharias Solvie, a soon-to-be 6th grader, is already excited for his next book.

“I might go home and read a book with my mom or my dad,” Solvie said.

This is the first year for Race to Read in Rapid City. Organizers hope to continue the program for years to come.

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