St. Cyprian Partners with ThinkCERCA to Boost Critical Thinking Skills Ahead of ACT Aspire Assessments

River Grove Catholic school selects award-winning literacy platform to boost student achievement.

Chicago, IL, January 25, 2017 --( ThinkCERCA, a leading provider of personalized literacy solutions, announced today that it has partnered with St. Cyprian Catholic School to increase students’ critical thinking skills in preparation for ACT Aspire. ThinkCERCA’s close reading and argumentative writing platform offers differentiated literacy lessons for English language arts, social studies, science, and math for students in grades 4–12.

To prepare for ACT Aspire, St. Cyprian, a private school located in River Grove, Illinois, made critical thinking a priority for the 2016-2017 school year. The school adopted ThinkCERCA as part of its curriculum for grades 4-8 to ensure students acquire the necessary skills to develop cohesive arguments, including supporting claims with textual evidence and explaining one’s reasoning.

“The format of ThinkCERCA aligns extremely well with our goals,” said Margie Marshall, principal of St. Cyprian. “Students are learning to identify key details and evidence as they highlight the text, and have the opportunity to build their argument and explain their thought process before putting together their final written piece.”

ThinkCERCA’s Applied Reading & Writing lessons guide students through the process of reading text closely to construct cohesive argumentative, informational, or narrative writings. In addition, highlighting and annotating tools, in-text vocabulary support, and audio and visuals lead students through the text to ensure overall comprehension.

Designed by a team of leading educators and curriculum experts, ThinkCERCA’s approach to literacy is supported by decades of research that shows cross-curricular reading, writing, and debate leads to college and career readiness.

“The demands of today’s rigorous assessments require that students know how to construct thoughtful and cohesive arguments across subjects,” said Eileen Murphy, founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA. “We are excited to partner with St. Cyprian to not only help students prepare for the ACT Aspire but for the 21st century as well.”

ThinkCERCA lessons are centered around debatable topics that get students thinking critically about real-world issues. These lessons are differentiated for 10 levels to fuel engaging discussions among students of varying readiness levels.

“The multi-step process is engaging for students, and the texts offered are high-interest while still being accessible to students at varying levels,” said Marshall. “With the help of ThinkCERCA, our students' editing is going beyond grammar rules and really focusing on making strong arguments supported by evidence.”

About ThinkCERCA
ThinkCERCA’s personalized literacy platform helps educators teach critical thinking skills through argumentative writing. With students and teachers using its platform in all 50 states and 130 countries, the company has partnered with prominent leaders in education, including Follett Corporation, and has been featured by The Atlantic and EdSurge. In a recent controlled study of 26 ed-tech tools by LEAP Innovations, ThinkCERCA was proven to help students achieve two years of academic growth per year on average. A 2016 SIAA CODiE Awards finalist in the Best Learning Capacity-Building Solution and Best Reading/English/Language Arts Instructional Solution categories, ThinkCERCA has also been named one of the best tools in ed tech by Common Sense’s Graphite. In July 2013, ThinkCERCA was the recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge grant, and in December 2012, graduated from the inaugural class of Impact Engine’s social impact accelerator. To learn more, please visit

About St. Cyprian
St. Cyprian School is a small, Catholic elementary school educating 142 students in River Grove, Illinois. As part of the Archdiocese of Chicago, St. Cyprian provides a nurturing environment and a high-quality education to children in preschool through 8th grade. St. Cyprian has been educating and guiding young people for nearly 90 years. The daily curriculum promotes each child’s academic, physical, spiritual, and emotional growth. Last year the school received the “Best of River Grove” Award for its excellent academics. To learn more, please visit
Jacob Hanson