Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) One-on-One Program

Helps One-on-One-Teacher Manual cover

Teachers and reading researchers generally agree that essential components of early elementary reading instruction should target phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. However, many educators and literacy experts have argued that reading fluency is commonly neglected as a part of a student’s core reading curriculum. In the United States, estimates suggest that at least 40% of fourth graders do not have strong enough reading fluency skills and this is a primary barrier to students’ proficiency with reading comprehension.

The main goals of HELPS are to strengthen a student’s reading fluency and confidence as a reader. As students improve reading fluency, they are better able to focus on and improve other important reading skills, including comprehension.

As is described in more detail below, HELPS is:

  • Supported by rigorous research
  • Appropriate for elementary school students and older learners
  • Easy to access
  • Feasible to use (for example, professional educators and other adults can implement it effectively and time-efficiently)

For the above reasons and many others, it is not surprising that HELPS has been used over the years with hundreds of thousands of students and implemented in more than 60 countries around the world.

A demonstration of HELPS One-on-One being used with a second-grade student.

Research Supporting the HELPS Program

HELPS is evidence-based because all of the instructional and motivational components of the program have been widely shown in past studies to effectively improve students’ reading.

Even more important, HELPS is research-validated because there have been more than a dozen rigorous evaluations of HELPS documenting its efficacy with students for whom the program is intended. These evaluations have been published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and those interested in learning more about HELPS research and effectiveness should contact us.

In addition to the many studies that have evidenced the effectiveness of HELPS, it is also included in the most recent nationally endorsed practice guide for early reading instruction. In this guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, HELPS is highlighted as one of only a small number of reading programs that significantly improved children’s word reading, oral reading fluency, and reading comprehension.

Accessing the HELPS One-on-One Materials

The main materials for the HELPS One-on-One program include a Teacher’s Manual, a book of Teacher Passages, and a book of Student Passages. The Manual is required for learning how to implement all aspects of the program. The passages are a set of 100 systematically developed reading selections that students read as they progress through the HELPS program over time.

You are welcome to download the three books of materials for free and then print and self-assemble them using page-protectors and 3-ring binders.

Alternatively, for approximately the same cost of printing and assembling the three books yourself, our team at Helps Education Fund can professionally prepare and ship all the materials directly to you. Not only do educators find this option convenient, but 100% of proceeds from sales of HELPS materials go toward our organizational mission—including our ability to develop and freely disseminate even more high-quality educational programs.

We send you all three books assembled professionally and ready to use. 100% of your purchase supports our mission!

You download, print, and assemble the three essential HELPS books.

Training for HELPS One-on-One Program

Free or Low-Cost Workshops

The primary focus of HELPS trainings is to show educators how to successfully implement the program and to answer all questions. Also, attendees will have opportunities to practice implementing HELPS while our expert trainers provide feedback and support.

Do-it-Yourself Training

Although we offer trainings on how to implement HELPS, we know that some teachers may not be able to attend a training. The HELPS One-on-One training video guides new HELPS users through several training exercises.

Before viewing the video, teachers must read Chapters 1-3 in the HELPS One-on-One Teacher's Manual to learn how to use and get the most out of the training video. Using the Teacher’s Manual and video, teachers will likely need 5 to 9.5 hours of training before being able to implement the HELPS One-on-One Program comfortably with students.

The total time of the video is 1 hour and 24 minutes. Access the HELPS One-on-One training video.

Access the HELPS One-on-One Teacher's Manual.

Other Ways to use HELPS

Frequently Asked Questions About HELPS

Please contact us if you have any questions that are not answered on this page or you simply want to talk with one of our HELPS experts.