Helping NC

Expanding literacy access to hundreds of elementary school students in North Carolina this summer.

An initiative of

50K in 5 Years

Access to high-quality, engaging literacy programs is an essential and urgent piece of supporting student learning.

Providing access is especially vital right now, as the extended COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated issues of educational inequity and the ability to engage with interventions proven to make a meaningful difference in students’ fundamental reading skills. What’s more, there’s a disconnect between caregivers’ perception of how their students are performing academically - and how they were actually (often detrimentally) impacted by unfinished learning over the past few years.


What is Helping NC?

To address this pressing issue and advance educational equity, Helping Education is launching a first-of-its-kind statewide live online literacy initiative, directly supporting thousands of students as they strengthen fundamental reading fluency skills.

This initiative is a core piece of our campaign to serve 50,000 students in 5 years (read more here) and our effort to disrupt the current per-student cost structures that prevent historically marginalized students and families from engaging in enriching learning environments.

We believe this is critical to overcoming implementation challenges, maintaining implementation fidelity, and scaling the number of students directly supported through high-impact tutoring.

Through our inaugural summer (by August 2024), we anticipate serving at least 500 elementary school students throughout North Carolina. Helping NC is a prime example of how we are expanding access like never before to reach thousands more students and families with high-quality literacy support.

Would you like your elementary school child to receive free online tutoring this summer?

If you are a parent or caregiver of a North Carolina elementary school student, you can begin the enrollment process today! Helping Education staff will administer a pre-assessment to students before starting the program to recommend which students will benefit most from reading fluency support. If your child is eligible for HELPS tutoring, we will match them with a trained adult with expertise in implementing our research-validated HELPS program.

Students will need access to WiFi + a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Please note that available spaces will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students will receive:

  • Three 30-minute HELPS reading fluency tutoring sessions each week, for a total of 23 sessions this summer.
  • Families can choose a 30-minute time slot that aligns with their availability.
  • Tutoring options begin during the summer.

About the HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies) Program

More than a decade of published research supports the HELPS program’s effectiveness in improving students’ reading fluency, comprehension, and confidence. This structured program implements instructional components aligned with the science of reading. It has been widely proven to improve students’ reading fluency and confidence in reading. As an often overlooked but integral aspect of literacy, our fluency intervention can help students bridge the gap between phonics skills and comprehension.

The program can be implemented in a one-on-one or in a small group setting 3-5 times per week. HELPS tutoring sessions are short (20-30 minutes), high-impact, and designed to engage students as they build rapport with tutors and reach their reading goals.

Over the past three years, students have consistently exceeded expectations in reading fluency and confidence when receiving HELPS tutoring. Based on reading assessments, more than 60% of students receiving the recommended dosage of HELPS tutoring exceeded expectations. As a baseline comparison, other evidence-based literacy programs have been shown to provide significant improvement for only 3-14% of students

Would you like to join us as a volunteer? 

We are seeking 200 volunteers to train in our HELPS curriculum and work individually with students on a weekly basis. With just 1-2 hours per week, you can engage with elementary school students and help them build the core skills they need for long-term success - all from the comfort of your own home!