Program Updates

The HELPS Program in Spanish – Available November 2011!
Posted on 11/4/2011


After approximately two years of adapting the English version of the HELPS One-on-One program into Spanish, the Spanish version of HELPS—called Leamos para Avanzar: Un programa de lectura para niños (English translation: Let's Read to Advance: A reading program for children)—will be available on the HELPS website at the end of this month. Leamos para Avanzar was translated, adapted, and evaluated by dozens of Spanish-English translators, and a pilot study in Ecuador was used to properly sequence the Spanish curriculum of passages. Leamos para Avanzar is intended for students primarily learning to read in Spanish (such as those living in Spanish speaking countries), and it is also intended for native Spanish speakers who may benefit from learning to read in both English and Spanish (such as the many English Language Learners living in the United States and elsewhere).

 

To learn more about Leamos para Avanzar and to access all of the materials, including a training video in Spanish, click here.

 

 

HELPS Program for Small Groups – Get updates and learn how to access HELPS-SG
Posted on 11/4/2011

 

To offer teachers an additional option for improving students’ reading fluency, the HELPS One-on-One program was adapted so that teachers can also use HELPS instructional and motivation strategies with small groups of 3-6 students, henceforth referred to as HELPS for Small Groups (HELPS-SG). HELPS-SG has been in the research and development process for the past two years and the results of initial studies are promising. Click here to learn more about HELPS-SG and how to access the instructional materials.

 

 

Become a HELPS Certified Trainer – It’s easy, free, and advantageous
Posted on 11/4/2011

 

Becoming a Certified HELPS Trainer is relatively quick to do, free, and has many advantages. For example, each trainer will receive useful materials that can be used when training and observing implementation integrity of other teachers (e.g., power point presentation slides for workshops, forms, handouts, etc.). Also, we are currently offering Certified Trainers of the HELPS One-on-One program access to the HELPS Program for small groups (HELPS-SG). Click here to learn more about becoming a Certified HELPS Trainer.

 

 

HELPS Program for Parents – Read more for updates
Posted on 11/4/2011

 

Led by a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, there is currently research underway that is evaluating (a) the extent to which parents can successfully implement the HELPS One-on-One program accurately, and (b) the effects of HELPS on students’ reading skills when it is used by parents. From this research, we will better understand how the currently available HELPS One-on-One Program can be used effectively by parents in the home setting, and if needed, a variation of this program may be developed specifically for parents. Additional updates about using HELPS with parents will be provided when they become available. In the meantime, click here for additional information about parents’ use of HELPS.

 

Research Updates

Recent HELPS research – Learn about several recent studies
Posted on 11/4/2011


Three recent studies demonstrating the effects of the HELPS One-on-One Program have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Abstract and citation information about each of these studies is listed below.

 

In addition, several other studies evaluating the effects of HELPS are currently being written for, or reviewed by, peer-reviewed journals. Often the peer-review and publication process can take up to 10-24 months before a study is available in print, so to get a snapshot of some other HELPS-related studies, click here. These forthcoming reports include studies describing the effects of HELPS when used (a) with English Language Learners, (b) with small groups, (c) in after-school programs for struggling learners, and (d) to monitor students’ progress in ways similar to curriculum based measurement (CBM). Finally, as we hoped, we have learned that other educators and researchers around the United States have begun evaluating the effects of HELPS in their schools and communities. If you have completed such an evaluation and would like to tell us about your results, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 

Recent publications


Title

Effects of the HELPS reading fluency program when implemented by classroom teachers with low-performing second-grade students

 

Abstract

The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Program was developed by integrating eight evidence-based fluency-building instructional strategies into a systematic program that can be feasibly implemented and accessed for free by all educators. This study examined the effects of HELPS when implemented by teachers with low-performing second grade readers. Findings showed that students receiving HELPS significantly outperformed control group students across five measures of early reading, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. Previous research indicated positive effects for students receiving HELPS, but this was the first study in which HELPS was implemented by classroom teachers and teacher assistants, and solely with low-performing readers. Implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.

 

Journal Citation

Begeny, J.C., Mitchell, R.C., Whitehouse, M.H., Harris, C.F., & Stage, S.A. (2011). Effects
of the HELPS reading fluency program when implemented by classroom teachers with low-performing second-grade students. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 26, 122-133.

 

 

Title

Effects of the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) reading fluency program when implemented at different frequencies

 

Abstract

Approximately 40% of U.S. fourth-grade students are nonfluent readers. In response to the need for fluency-based instructional programs for elementary aged students, the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Program was developed by integrating eight evidence-based fluency-building
instructional strategies into a systematic program that can be (a) feasibly implemented by several types of educators, and (b) accessed for free by all educators. The present study sought to examine the effects of HELPS with second-grade students when implemented three times per week compared to once or twice per week, and throughout most of a school year. Results showed that students receiving HELPS three times per week significantly outperformed a control group of students on the measures of reading fluency and comprehension. Students who received HELPS an average of 1.5 times per week significantly outperformed the control group students on the measure of reading fluency.

 

Journal Citation

Begeny, J.C. (2011). Effects of the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS)
reading fluency program when implemented at different frequencies. School Psychology Review, 40, 149-157.

 

 

Title

A control-group comparison of two reading fluency programs: The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) program and the Great Leaps K–2 reading program

 

Abstract

Reading fluency is a critical component of effective reading instruction for early-elementary aged students. However, national data suggest that 40% of U.S. fourth grade students are nonfluent readers. Implementing evidence-based, time-efficient, and procedurally standardized instructional strategies may help address this problem. This study evaluates the efficacy of two such programs designed to supplement a core reading curriculum for all emerging readers: the Great Leaps K–2 Reading Program, which is currently used in schools throughout the U.S., and the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Program, which was developed for the purposes of this study. Each program was implemented with second grade participants, and each program was evaluated against a wait-list control group. Results indicated that students receiving the HELPS Program scored significantly better than students in the control group across several measures of early reading, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. No other statistically significant differences were found. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of increasing the use of evidence-based reading practices in schools.

 

Journal Citation

Begeny, J. C. Laugle, K. M., Krouse, H. E., Lynn, A. E., Tayrose, M. P., & Stage, S. A. (2010). A control-group comparison of two reading fluency programs: The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) program and the Great Leaps K–2 reading program. School Psychology Review, 39, 137-155.

 

 

Forthcoming Reports

 

Title

Effects of the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Reading Fluency Program with Latino English Language Learners: A Preliminary Evaluation (Report accepted for publication)

 

Abstract

The HELPS Program has been shown in previous research to significantly improve elementary-aged students’ reading abilities, but the effects of HELPS has not been evaluated with an important and increasing sub-population of U.S. students: English language learners (ELLs). As such, the purpose of this control-group comparison study was to evaluate HELPS with Latino ELLs. Findings showed that ELLs who received HELPS scored significantly higher than the control group on standardized measures of fluency and comprehension. Although this study only represents an initial understanding about the effects of HELPS with ELLs, the findings should have implications for educators and researchers who work with ELLs.

 

 

Title

Initial Evidence for Using the HELPS Reading Fluency Program with Small Instructional Groups (Report currently being reviewed for publication)

 

Abstract

Given the importance of reading fluency, its common neglect in many classrooms, the benefits of manualized intervention programs, and the need for schools to maximize time and resources, the overall purpose of this study was to conduct an initial evaluation of a manualized small group program that directly targets reading fluency and can be implemented in a relatively brief period of time. Specifically, implementation materials and protocols from the manualized and research-supported HELPS One-on-one Program were adapted so that a new program could be implemented with small groups of approximately 3-6 children. Effects of this HELPS Program for small groups (HELPS-SG) were evaluated in a natural school environment with students experiencing difficulties with reading fluency. Outcomes of this initial evaluation of HELPS-SG showed that nearly all participants appeared to benefit from the program, as evidenced by multiple forms of analysis. Findings, limitations, and implications are discussed in terms of maximizing educators’ time and resources, challenges with instructional-decision making, and increasing practitioner-researcher collaboration in schools.

 

 

Title

Effects of the HELPS reading fluency program with economically disadvantaged, low-performing readers attending a community-based after-school program (Report in preparation)

 

Abstract

Reading fluency has been identified as a critical component of effective early reading instruction. However, national data suggest that 40% of U.S. fourth-grade students are “nonfluent” readers. Implementing evidence-based, time-efficient, and procedurally standardized intervention strategies may help address this problem. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the HELPS Program with students across multiple grades who are at-risk for (or identified with) reading difficulties and attended a community-based after-school program. Results indicated that the HELPS Program was generally effective, though we found individual differences in response to the intervention.

 

 

Title

Using the HELPS Program as a progress monitoring assessment tool (Report in preparation)

 

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to explore the psychometric characteristics and predictive validity of the three forms of CBM-R progress monitoring that are built within the HELPS Program. The main reasons for this investigation are as follows, all of which speak to limitations of traditional CBM-R progress monitoring: (a) HELPS naturally produces multiple assessments over time (i.e., usually up to 3 assessment per week), yielding a large number of data points and presumably decreasing measurement error associated with CBM-R, (b) passages developed independently of the student’s curriculum are used, which leads to a more systematic control of passage difficulty, (c) measurement conditions are highly consistent because students experience the same “conditions” up to three times per week across multiple weeks, thereby reducing possible measurement error due to inconsistent measurement conditions, and (d) assessment procedures are built directly into instructional procedures, thereby possibly increasing teachers’ use (and acceptability of) frequent progress monitoring with students getting supplemental reading support. Findings showed that two of the three forms of CBM-R were significantly related to students’ reading gains over time.

 

Website Updates

Attend a HELPS Program Workshop – Find out where and how
Posted on 11/4/2011

 

We have been very pleased to get so many messages requesting HELPS workshops, and we have worked hard to offer as many training opportunities as possible. Over the past two years, we have offered dozens of trainings all over the United States, and on behalf of The Helps Education Fund non-profit organization, most of our workshops have been free or at a very low cost. Currently, the demand for offering workshops well exceeds our ability to offer trainings for each request, as we often receive approximately five requests for training per week. However, to address this situation, we hope to use some additional strategies to improve our capacity for offering more workshops for schools, districts, and organizations, while keeping workshops at a low cost. Click here to learn more about HELPS Workshops and how to find or organize one in your area.

 

 

Other website updates - New content and a refreshed homepage
Posted on 11/4/2011


By reviewing the list of HELPS updates above, you will see that there is some new content on the HELPS website that reflects our most recent work and advances with HELPS. In addition, our homepage has been refreshed with a slightly new look and some new “quick links” highlighting what is most new with HELPS Programs. Further, you should now see on our website an easy way to share HELPS information with others, through the Facebook "Like" button located at the top of each webpage. If you find it helpful, be sure to "Like" the HELPS Program website to easily let others know about HELPS as a free, research-based educational resource.

 

We hope you continue to find the information on this site both useful and easy to find! If you have any recommendations for how to improve this website, we always welcome your suggestions and encourage you to contact us.