The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Programs integrate easy-to-use instructional strategies that are specifically designed to improve students' reading fluency. Teachers are encouraged to implement one 10-12 minute HELPS session 2-3 days per week. Currently, the HELPS One-on-One Program is available. This program has been shown in numerous research studies to improve students' reading skills, including fluency and comprehension. The other HELPS Programs are still in the research and development phases and are not yet available through this website.
One unique feature of the HELPS Programs is that they integrate each of the strategies shown in previous research as most likely to improve students' reading fluency. Many of these evidence-based strategies also improve students' reading comprehension. The evidence-based strategies integrated into each 10-12 minute HELPS session include:
1. Structured, repeated readings of ability-appropriate text
2. Having students listen to a more skilled reader read aloud, such as an adult (i.e., Model reading)
3. Systematic error-correction procedures
4. Verbal cues for students to read with fluency
5. Verbal cues for students to read for comprehension
6. Goal-setting (i.e., practicing text until a pre-determined performance criterion is met)
7. Performance feedback, combined with graphical displays of student progress
8. Use of systematic praise and a structured reward system for student reading behaviors and successes
Throughout this website, additional information is provided about the HELPS Programs. In particular, extensive information is available for the HELPS One-on-One Program since this program is currently available and has been scientifically evaluated for the past five years. The menu on the left and the menu at the top of each page should guide interested readers to the most pertinent information related to the HELPS Programs.
Also, by clicking on the link in the right hand column of this page you can watch a demonstration of how the HELPS One-on-One program is implemented.
Click the below link to watch how the HELPS One-on-One Program is implemented. This demonstration shows one full session of the HELPS One-on-One Program being implemented with a second grade student.