Fayetteville State University’s Reading Clinic Serves Students Despite COVID-19

Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) College of Education (COE) faculty and teacher candidates can continue serving 11 elementary grade students enrolled in the COE Reading Clinic virtually by using ZOOM to share screens for students to read from. Using their personal computers with camera accessibility, FSU candidates are tutoring their student clients virtually via ZOOM.  Using computers with camera accessibility as well, the student clients, with the assistance of their respective guardians, log onto the ZOOM intervention from the comfort of their homes using the link sent to them.  Since moving to a virtual clinic, Dr. Ashley Holder and her teacher candidates are no longer able to use their prize box of incentives, so FSU teacher candidates allow their student clients to gain control of the mouse to engage in an interactive game once they have hit their reading target for the session.  The game incentive encourages the children to engage more with the reading passages and entices the children to sign in online and participate in the tutoring program designed to increase reading fluency. The FSU candidates meet their students two or three times per week and the parents also tutor their children at least two days per week.  Dr. Holder says, “We are making sure that they are getting in three sessions of HELPS weekly.  We definitely see gains in student reading achievement since they started using HELPS.” “The COVID-19 disruption has led to an innovation in our Reading Clinic that started over thirty-years ago”, according to Dr. Marion Gillis-Olion, Dean of the COE.  “Out of necessity, we have learned how to serve students better.” 

The COE would like to acknowledge and thank the Cumberland Community Foundation for their support of our Reading Clinic through a community grant that provided the candidate and faculty training in HELPS. 

To learn more about HELPS and the FSU Reading Clinic contact:  

Dr. Ashley Johnson-Holder Ed.D. 
Assistant Professor & Coordinator of M.Ed. in Reading Program 
Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Reading & Special Education (EEMRS) 
College of Education