HELPS – Reading Fluency

More information about this intervention can be found at:

HELPS, which stands for Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies, is a free, one-on-one intervention that is quick to implement (10-15 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week) and has a significant amount of evidence basis. A variety of information about HELPS can be found at their website,, including training materials and the HELPS One-on-One Program Teacher’s Manual. The aforementioned teacher’s manual goes into great detail about how this intervention can be used in an RTI system at all three tiers of intervention, and also discusses the types of readers who may benefit from this intervention (including ELLs). HELPS has not been studied by the What Works Clearinghouse or the Best Evidence Encyclopedia, at least not that I could find. However, I was able to access Begeny et al. (2010), which was the initial evaluation of the HELPS curriculum. This study found that HELPS had a medium-to-large effect size on several measures of reading fluency (the TOWRE, R-CBM, GORT, WJ-III Ach, and MAZE). The intervention involves timed readings, recall checks, feedback and goal-setting/achievement, practice with incorrect words, repeated reading, modeling, and a reward procedure – essentially, many of the elements of best practice in reading instruction all in one efficient intervention.

I truly believe that every school with available intervention specialists, especially if they have Title teachers, would benefit from implementing HELPS, as the fact that it is quick, free, and research-based is essentially my personal trifecta of a solid intervention. This intervention is designed to help with reading fluency, which tends to have a subsequent impact on reading comprehension as fluency improves.

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(1), 137-155.


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