Volunteer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Our HELPS Program is an evidence-based intervention that boosts fluency, reading skills, and confidence. Easily delivered by trained volunteer tutors, it's a scripted, research-validated approach.

HELPS Program Impact in Charlotte

During the 2022-2023 school year*

67%

of second graders exceeded
expected growth

65%

of third graders exceeded
expected growth

*DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency was the assessment used to measure growth from the middle to the end of year and includes students who received at least 30 sessions of HELPS. *Students exceed expected growth in reading fluency when making more gains and words read correctly per minute than typically expected for their grade level. Improvements may not be a direct result of the tutoring.

"[The HELPS Program] is elegant in its simplicity. There are a lot of reading programs where, if you look at what they’re trying to do, they are trying to address multiple skills at once. HELPS is focusing on one skill — fluency."

– Munro Richardson, Read Charlotte Executive Director

What We Accomplished Together

in Charlotte in 2022-2023

5,898

Tutoring
hours completed

11,797

Tutoring sessions
delivered

605

Students served
at 81 CMS schools

Why Our Tutors Love HELPS

  • Charlotte HELPS tutors work with the same two students weekly in back-to-back half-hour sessions.
  • HELPS tutors report witnessing visible progress in students' reading.
  • One hour served by HELPS tutors per week gets students closer to reaching reading proficiency.

Why HELPS

  • The HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies) reading fluency intervention is specifically designed to improve students’ text reading fluency.
  • Over a decade of research confirms HELPS' efficacy in boosting student reading proficiency, establishing it as a leading, effective reading program for ensuring children's success.
  • In the 2016 Educator’s Practice Guide for Early Reading Instruction by the US Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse, HELPS was among the few programs significantly enhancing children's word reading, oral fluency, and comprehension.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fluency is reading with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. It is one of five essential skills a student must acquire to become a successful reader and is directly related to reading comprehension. Mastering this fundamental step is significant in increasing student learning and closing achievement gaps.

Thank you for your commitment to improving reading outcomes for students in Charlotte! To become an active tutor with Helping Education, please register for a 3.5-hour training. Click here to get started.

Thank you for your commitment to improving reading outcomes for students in Charlotte! To become an active tutor with Helping Education, please register for a 3.5-hour training. Click here to get started.

If you become unavailable for the training you signed up for, please contact Kate Llewellyn at kate@helpseducationfund.org. Then, click here to register for a training that better suits your schedule.

  • Once your background check has been verified and you have been trained, you will receive an email from a Helping Education staff member to pair you with a student based on your availability.
  • You will need to indicate your availability in the Google Form sent out in the post-training email.
  • In the Google Form, please indicate the number of days per week you are willing to tutor and the full length of time you are available.

Could you tutor more than 1 hour per week? Additional tutoring time gets our students closer to reaching their literacy goals. When you indicate your tutoring availability in the Google Form sent out in the post-training email, please select all days and times you are available to tutor and your desired number of hours.