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CPR: College Prep Reading Program

Updated on January 23, 2016
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie was an elementary school teacher for 13 years, teaching grades 3-5. She is now a Library Media Specialist in an elementary school.


The Plan

Goal: To prepare high school students for SAT/ACT college testing. Students will be able to successfully complete the reading portion of these college exams with the textual knowledge they will receive during participation in the reading activities. This goal meets the school’s mission of providing a quality education and creating lifelong learners.

Objective: Students will read specific novels designed to enhance vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension skills. They will participate in book discussions and several fun activities throughout the school year, revolving around these books and their themes.

Target Groups: Students who lack support in preparing for college exams. Students who are nonreaders and need help in this area in order to achieve their college goals.

The Reasoning

What? Current programs in place are only a week long and students choose one subject area. These week-long sessions are offered in the spring and in the summer. This is clearly not enough; students need more time to acquire larger vocabularies, experience with analogies, and practice with complex literacy questions. With my proposed reading program, these skills can be practiced throughout high school, preparing students adequately for college exams.

Why? Reading books alone is not enough. Several activities and book discussions will take place throughout the school year to keep students on track and motivated. This program will be described on a flyer at the beginning of the school year. Teachers will receive information and links to all resources being used and will be encouraged to become involved by including these in their language arts instruction or cross-curricular instruction for other subject areas. The planning committee wants to emphasize life-long learning, preparing students for college and beyond.

Getting Started

When? This reading program would be introduced at the beginning of the school year and offered throughout the school year. There would be scheduled morning and afternoon meetings at least once a week. We would introduce the program during students’ first library visit and would encourage everyone to participate. Teachers would have the option of using the books selected in their classroom instruction as well. Events and activities would be scheduled upon completion of each novel selected. Depending upon the theme of the book, activities will vary.

Who? The librarian and assistant librarian will be in charge of running the program, selecting dates and times, providing resources and materials, meeting with students before school. At least two English teachers should have agreed to collaborate with librarian and assistant librarian during the length of the program by using the provided resources in classroom instruction, participating in scheduled culminating events, and meeting with students after school.

Making it Happen

How?Present what current research shows: “Despite the need for students to learn complex skills to succeed in college, more and more high schools across the country are focusing on the achievement of basic skills to prepare students to pass state standardized tests.” The message is: Literacy levels can be raised through the CPR program and goals can be achieved leading to life-long learning and success. Read and share:

  1. Slavin, Robert E., Alan Cheung, Cynthia Groff, and Cynthia Lake. "Effective Reading Programs for Middle and High Schools: A Best-Evidence Synthesis." Reading Research Quarterly 43.3 (2008): 290-322. Web.
  2. "Get Ready for College Reading." GreatSchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2014.
  3. Barton, Paul E. Reading between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals about College Readiness in Reading. IA City, IA: ACT, 2006. Print.

Communication Tools: Communication tools that will be used are a powerpoint, giving startling statistics showing the need for reading programs such as this one. Students will see this at the beginning of the year during their first library visit. There will be flyers for teachers and students, giving dates for meetings and events and information about materials being used. These will be distributed during the first week of school. There will be links on LibGuides pages for teachers and students to access anytime and anywhere.

Evaluation: Students will take vocabulary assessments at the end of each novel to assure they have acquired vocabulary terms presented. They will also take reading comprehension quizzes at the end of each novel. These will be graded by librarians and teachers. Students will have the option of taking practice SAT and ACT exams as well throughout the school year.


Sacked by Emma Harrison

SparkNotes’ brand new SAT novel—a fun way to learn SAT and ACT vocab words in context. Sacked takes us into the world of Drew Benson, a high school senior ready to take his older brother’s spot as starting quarterback. But when a big, fast new kid named Samson Hill shows up, Drew finds he has competition for the top spot. Drew’s dad pressures his son to be number one, and each week we learn more about how far Drew will go to be the best.

SCAM by Emma Harrison

Mike Riley's untouchable—he's the high school quarterback, he's dating the hottest girl in the school, and he can't seem to lose at cards. But then his luck turns, and one bad night of Texas Hold 'Em threatens to shatter his perfect life. To get back on top, Mike stakes everything on a brazen scheme to beat a group of ruthless card sharks at their own game.

Rave New World by Lynne Hanson

It's the year 2157, and every pleasure that doesn't turn people into dutiful consumers has been classified as an addiction and outlawed. Jaden Emory's job is to find out people's hidden addictions—and root them out. But when rebellious raver Ally Fayre enters the picture, it's Jaden who becomes her.

Busted by Emma Harrison
Kim Stratford has her eye on two different guys—but that's not her real problem. She's actually an undercover cop trying to bust a high school drug ring. Will she give her impetuous heart to the dealer she's supposed to catch? Or will she pick the right guy—and risk losing him when he finds out she's a narc?

Head Over Heels by Ryan Nerz
Francesca Castarelli has to choose. Dreamy and athletic Jeremy is the most popular boy in her school and the center of her social scene. Luke Barton isn't part of her scene at all—he's her SAT tutor and an impudent smart-ass. Will Francesca risk everything for the guy who drives her crazy—in every way?

*Books can be purchased and/or all novels are available online for free so everyone can participate with no problem to access of materials at


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