HELPS Programs can be used with students of varying reading-ability levels.
Reading researchers suggest that all early readers should start to develop fluency with grade-appropriate, connected text sometime between first through third grade. Second grade is usually the time during which most students strengthen this skill. Unfortunately, nationally representative data in the U.S. suggest that approximately 40% of fourth grade students are nonfluent readers.
Because instructional strategies designed to improve reading fluency are often neglected in teachers' core reading curricula, and because HELPS can be implemented by numerous types of educators (including school volunteers) in approximately 10 minutes, HELPS was first developed and implemented as a supplemental reading program for all second grade students. Using this same logic, HELPS is equally appropriate to use as a supplement to a core reading curriculum for mid-year first grade students or with third grade students.
However, many teachers have insufficient time or assistance to achieve class-wide implementation of the HELPS One-on-One Program. For this reason, early stages of HELPS development and research began investigating the One-on-One Program's impact on other students, including students with reading difficulties.
To learn more about the types of students who will likely benefit from the HELPS Program, explore the links within the colored boxes on the right side of this page.