J. Helen Perkins


(901) 678-4195
Ball Hall 413D
Office Hours
Tuesdays - 10:00 - 1:00 & by appointment

About Dr. Perkins

J. Helen Perkins, Ed.D., is a Professor at the University of Memphis. She serves as the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Memphis Literacy Academy (MLA). This is a collaboration between the university and Memphis City Schools; the academy's principal goal is to enhance the literacy of urban children by building capacity with the K – 5th grade teachers. She also serves as the Co-PI of the Memphis Striving Readers' Project, an academy for grades 6 – 8 (Memphis Content Literacy Academy).

She was recently appointed by The Board of Directors of the International Reading Association to the editorship of The Reading Teacher. Helen is the first African American to serve in this capacity for any of the IRA journals.

Prior to moving to the Memphis area, Helen was appointed by the governor of Texas to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. She also served as a trainer, master trainer, developer and writer for the Texas Reading Academies.

Helen's research focus is in Urban Literacy. She recently co-authored an article in the October 2005 issue of The Reading Teacher Journal titled "Evidence – based Literacy Education and the African American Child." She has published several articles, chapters in books, and a children's book. She also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Balanced Reading Instruction, a special interest journal of the International Reading Association.

Helen is Director of the Clinical Division in the College Reading Association. She represents her department by serving as a member of the University Council for Graduate Studies and Research. She also serves the students as an advisor to the International Reading Association Student Organization.

She serves as a National Literacy Consultant on various projects such as the Reading First Teacher Education Network (RFTEN); this is a federal project with Historically Black Colleges & Universities, HBCU's. Helen is an international, national, and local speaker.


EdD, Oklahoma State University, 1999