Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies for Small Groups (HELPS-SG) Program

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Although the HELPS One-on-One Program has been demonstrated to successfully improve students’ reading skills, research suggests that some students may benefit as much from fluency-based instructional strategies that are implemented in small groups. Small group, versus one-on-one instruction, may also be particularly advantageous for teachers that have limited time or supplemental classroom assistance.

The overall purpose of the HELPS for Small Groups Program (HELPS-SG) is to assist students with their reading development and, in particular, to strengthen students’ reading fluency. As students improve reading fluency, they are better able to focus on and improve upon other important reading skills, including comprehension and thinking critically about what they read.

Demo video of HELPS-SG

Research Supporting the HELPS-SG Program

HELPS-SG integrates evidence-based literacy practices for small-group instruction and, through several research studies, has been found to significantly improve students’ reading fluency, comprehension, and confidence as readers. The program has also been found to be effective for both elementary and middle school students. Those interested in knowing more about research with HELPS-SG, including published research about the program, should contact us.

Accessing the HELPS-SG Materials

The main materials for the HELPS-SG program include a Teacher’s Manual, a book of Teacher Passages, and a book of Student Passages. The HELPS-SG 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-SG program over time. It is important to note that the HELPS-SG Teacher’s Manual is specific to HELPS-SG and teachers cannot learn to use HELPS-SG from our HELPS One-on-One Teacher’s Manual; they are complementary but different programs. However, the curriculum of 100 passages is the same set of passages used in both HELPS-SG and HELPS One-on-One.

We anticipated providing the HELPS-SG Teacher’s Manual and HELPS-SG Training Video for free, downloadable access in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our ability to complete the HELPS-SG training video. Without the training video, it is much less likely teachers would be able to successfully learn all the HELPS-SG implementation procedures simply by reading the Teacher’s Manual.

For this reason, we are offering online HELPS-SG training workshops and attendees of those workshops will receive the downloadable Teacher’s Manual and HELPS curriculum of passages for free. Alternatively, if requested, workshop attendees can receive a print-version of the manual and passages at a discounted cost. Please see the Training section below to learn more and register for a low-cost HELPS-SG training.

Training for HELPS-SG Program

Free or Low-Cost Training Workshops

The primary focus of HELPS-SG 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-SG while our expert trainers provide feedback and support.

Do-it-Yourself Training

We anticipated providing the HELPS-SG Teacher’s Manual and HELPS-SG Training Video for free, downloadable access in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our ability to complete the HELPS-SG training video. Once we can complete the Training Video, it will be available on this website so that teachers have the option for do-it-yourself training. Until then, we encourage those interested in HELPS-SG to attend one of our training workshops in order to learn the program and access all needed implementation materials.

Other Ways to use HELPS

Frequently Asked Questions About HELPS-SG

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-SG experts.