Mark Sullivan, founder of SNAP! Learning®, spent 25 years in public education. Outside of classroom teaching, most of those years were spent working with teachers and administrators on the implementation of large scale professional development literacy initiatives. 

After years of observing so much time, money, and effort spent on professional development initiatives with only “islands of success,” Mark thought that there had to be an easier and more effective way for teachers to implement new programs.

“If we could create products with professional development scripted into a lesson protocol, then teachers would learn effective literacy approaches and best practices by simply using the product. And once learned, teachers could transfer that know-how to similar products…and this would create tremendous time and cost.” 

The opportunity arrived. The first product, Structured Guided Reading, was  initially designed to support an after school tutoring program for Sullivan Learning Systems, the parent company of SNAP Learning. Over the years, Sullivan Learning systems provided tutoring services to nearly 30,000 low income students throughout California using school site teachers, tutors with degrees, and even college students. Structured Guided Reading passed through 6 revisions as Mark and his curriculum team learned to refine the product to make it easier to use and to achieve more rapid results.

With the success of Structured Guided Reading, the SNAP team endeavored on a new project – close reading. 

“The close reading approach intrigued us. We spent months studying the standards, reading the research, and watching hours and hours of videos. We felt like something was missing especially for developing readers in elementary and middle school. We felt like their needed to be more structure and accountability to the approach.”

The team then spent months writing varying lesson protocols and routines to capture the approach of digging deeper into the meaning of text with each rereading. It was important to embed essential  and measurable vocabulary/comprehension skills and strategies into the protocol and routine. 

“We’d write one protocol and routine, review it, then tear it up. We’d write another, review it, test it, and tear it up.” It went on that way for quite some time until we finally settled on our current Five Step Lesson Protocol.”

Then, we turned our writers, artists, and graphic artists loose on creating an awesome product! The Close Reading Portfolios.

It’s been a journey filled with  passion – a passion to create products that teachers learn by doing, that gets results, and are easy to use. 

We hope you agree that we Make It A SNAP!


For Teachers

  • easy to learn, easy to teach, easy to use
  • requires little to no training 
  • extensively researched, tested, and validated
  • developed to state standards
  • rapid, measurable results at low cost

For Students

  • engaging content
  • challenging lessons
  • purposeful activities and tasks
  • predictable format
  • simple routines