Summer reading helps recover disrupted learning loss

Two years of pandemic disruptions to classroom learning have hurt students across the board

Scores on IREAD – the standardized test given to third graders – have declined by six percentage points total across the state from 2019 to 2020. Scores are even lower among Black and Hispanic students.  

Overall, no demographic group improved their IREAD scores compared to 2019. 

Reading every day helps prevent loss of learning

According to Dan Funston, Concord Community Schools superintendent, the same impact is being seen in local data, as well. 

“Generally, at the third-grade level, our IREAD scores are down,” he says. “What our reading scores are showing is that students who are having the most trouble didn’t spend the most time reading (while remote learning).” 

Funston says that the best way to combat these issues is simply by reading

“It’s time on task, it’s time reading challenging text and responding to it,” Funston says. 

Elkhart Public Library’s summer reading challenge offers a tremendous opportunity for families to fight against students falling behind. It also is a time when students can read for fun and on topics they enjoy, not just what’s assigned in the classroom. 


“Anything that the library does to encourage reading will be helpful to our efforts,” says Funston. 

Children can choose to read what they want and when they want and whether it’s tracking pages or books read, they can get credit and build important reading skills for school. 

Funston says that even submitting a simple book report through the Beanstack app helps readers to retain what they’ve read and builds on literacy skills. 

Kids get rewarded for reading and receive recognition along the way, in addition to receiving prize entries. This year’s challenge starts May 20. Prize entries can be turned in through July 18. Visit for prize info and more details.