School Psychology Review

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

John C. Begeny, Kelly M. Laugle, Hailey E. Krouse, Amy E. Lynn, Michelle P. Tayrose, Scott A. Stage

pp. 137-155

General Issue

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Abstract. Reading fluency is a critical component of effective reading instruction for students of early elementary age. 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 United States, 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.