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 and reading researchers generally agree that the essential components of early elementary reading instruction should target phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. However, many educators argue that reading fluency is commonly neglected as a part of a student’s core reading curriculum. As such, the primary goal of HELPS Programs is to strengthen students’ reading fluency. As students improve reading fluency, they are better able to focus on and improve other important reading skills, including comprehension.
Because all students must develop reading fluency in order to become more successful readers, HELPS Programs can be used with students of all reading-ability levels. Furthermore, HELPS Programs are designed so that multiple types of teachers (such as regular education teachers, special education teachers, teacher assistants, school psychologists, reading specialists, librarians, and school volunteers) can implement HELPS with the student (or students) who will likely benefit most from the Program.
Although the HELPS One-on-One Program is the only HELPS Program available at this time, there are several forthcoming HELPS Programs that are currently being developed. These upcoming programs will include most (if not all) of the instructional strategies included in the HELPS One-on-One Program. Also, like the One-on-One Program, future HELPS Programs will be used in conjunction with the HELPS Curriculum currently available from this website.
However, forthcoming HELPS Programs will differ from the One-on-One Program in meaningful ways. For example, future programs will be designed so that teachers can implement HELPS with small groups or with Spanish speakers, and one will be designed so that parents can easily implement HELPS in the home. As such, upcoming HELPS Programs will not “replace” or even improve upon the One-on-One Program, they will simply offer teachers (and parents) greater flexibility for using the fluency-based strategies integrated in the HELPS One-on-One Program.
To learn more about the four different HELPS Programs, click the Menu links located on the left of this page.