HELPS for Parents

Multiple research studies show that struggling readers in Grades 1-4 meaningfully benefit from the HELPS One-on-One Program.

To identify students who will likely benefit from the HELPS Program as a remedial form of intervention, teachers can use Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) benchmark assessments. ORF benchmark assessments typically require students to read three grade-appropriate passages for one minute each. The median number of words read correctly per minute (WCPM) score of the three passages is considered the student's benchmark score for that assessment. Many schools obtain this type of ORF benchmark assessment score three times per school year: once in the fall, winter, and spring.

Use of the ORF assessment procedure is commonly referred to as a curriculum-based measure of reading (CBM-R). Popular assessment systems that utilize CBM-R are the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), AIMSweb, and Easy CBM systems.

Because teachers would likely begin implementing HELPS with a student during the fall or winter of a school year, the HELPS Program offers a useful Table for identifying first through fourth grade students who will likely benefit from the HELPS Program.  

Click here to download and preview this Table.

As shown in the Table, fall and winter WCPM benchmark scores are provided for grade levels 1-4. If a student’s WCPM benchmark score falls within the ranges shown in the Table, it is likely this student could benefit from the HELPS Program. If, for example, a teacher completes a fall benchmark assessment with a third grade student who scores between 20-81 WCPM, this student would likely benefit from the HELPS Program-assuming, of course, the teacher believes the student's nonfluent reading is unrelated to some other factor (e.g., neurological impairment, speech deficit). 

The HELPS One-on-One Program Teacher's Manual provides much more information about using HELPS with struggling readers and using the Table as a tool for identifying students who should benefit from the Program. 

HELPS for Parents

Students in Grades 5-12

Below Average readers in grades 5-12 may also benefit from the HELPS One-on-One Program.


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HELPS for Spanish Speakers

HELPS for English Language Learners

English Language Learners (ELLs) should benefit from the HELPS One-on-One Program.


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HELPS for Spanish Speakers

Importance of Fluency

Although reading fluency is important for all students' reading development, instructional strategies designed to improve students' reading fluency are often missing from core reading curricula. In fact, approximately 40% of U.S. students are nonfluent readers.


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