Available to stream: May 20, 2024 12:01 am - May 22, 2024 11:59 pm EST


Presented by T-TAC Old Dominion University
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About the Film

Welcome to VDOE’s Training and Technical Assistance Center at Old Dominion University’s private screening room for The Right to Read. Our hope is that this film will motivate you to continue your efforts toward ensuring every Virginian child has access to evidence-based literacy instruction, as it aligns with the Virginia Literacy Act. As Benjamin Heuston says in the film, “the research shows that every child can read with the right instruction”.

We ask while watching this film you consider 1) which ideas resonate most within your current context?  2) how do the points in the Right to Read align with what you already know about the importance of adopting high quality instructional materials for the Virginia Literacy Act?

After watching the film, please complete this Evaluation Survey with additional reflection questions. Upon completion of our survey, you will be provided a hyperlink to receive a Certificate of Participation (for 2 professional development hours to honor additional time spent engaged in this post-viewing activity).

Evaluation Survey

For follow-up requests and/or continued discussion, email Erin Saxon, T-TAC ODU Early Childhood/Literacy Educational Specialist, at [email protected].

Virginia-Based Resources:

Visit VDOE’s Virginia Literacy Act for VLA updates and review the VLA Implementation Playbook to learn more about the efforts division leadership teams are currently engaged in.

Aligned with VLA, free professional development resources across the 5 key components of evidence-based literacy instruction are available from the Virginia Literacy Partnership’s Value Series. Some notable resources include the Science-Based Reading Research Infographic and additional topics such as explicit instruction and data literacy. VLP also has shareable Resources for Families.

Consider joining The Reading League Virginia, a local organization with the slogan, “sharing knowledge – inspiring change. All children deserve to learn to read, and all teachers can learn to teach them”.

Additional Resources:

Sold a Story Podcast

The Right to Read Project

The Reading League

Excel in Ed Early Literacy Policy

Decoding Dyslexia

The International Dyslexia Association

Resource For Special Educators:

CEEDAR Center’s High Leverage Practices

The film talks about the five pillars of reading instruction that every child needs to become proficient readers. Learning to read is not a natural process; people are not born with brains wired to read. For some children, that process happens without a lot of instruction, which can make it seem like they are becoming literate almost through osmosis. But in fact, the same process is happening in every child’s brain. Some need less instruction and practice, but ALL can benefit from explicit, systematic, and structured instruction that builds on foundational skills.


In partnership with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has developed and published a set of high-leverage practices (HLPs) for special educators and teacher candidates. There are 22 High-Leverage Practices intended to address the most critical practices that every K–12 special education teacher should master and be able to demonstrate. The selected practices are used frequently in classrooms and have been shown to improve student outcomes if successfully implemented.

Visit the linked HLPs to learn more about just how watching this film and VLA legislation fit in with how we intentionally plan already as special educators.

Revised HLP Pillars

*Pay special attention to HLPs: 1, 3 (collaborate with families to support student learning), 6, 12 (systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal), 13, 16 (use explicit instruction), 17, 19 and 20.

When a child can’t read, their chances of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment increase. That’s why Oakland based NAACP activist Kareem Weaver believes literacy is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time and is fighting for better reading instruction. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” Fed up with the bleak reading scores in his own community, Kareem files a petition with the Oakland Unified School District demanding change.


I am having trouble registering for the film.

To register for the film, please click on the yellow “Register” button, complete the fields and enter your invitation code provided by your screening host. If you are having trouble registering on this page, please try copying and pasting the invitation code that your screening host sent to you, registering with a different email address and/or registering through a different browser/incognito window. If none of those solutions work, please contact your screening host.

I have registered and am having trouble accessing the film.

If you have clicked “Register” on the screening page and have completed the registration process but you are not able to play the film, please check:

  • Your screening window has begun (found at the top of your screening room)
  • You have fully completed the registration process by clicking “Register” and entered all fields
  • You have logged into the screening room by clicking “Event Login” and entering the email address you registered with and your event invitation code
  • Check your browser: We support FireFox, Chrome, and Safari. Other browsers may have issues playing the film.

If you continue to have trouble, please contact your screening host.

I am having trouble logging back into my event.

Please be sure to click “Event Login” and use the email address you used to register and the invitation code for your event.

If you continue to have trouble, please contact your screening host.

How long can I access the film?

The film is available to watch during the dates and times listed at the top left of your screening room. You may watch the film as many times as you like during your screening window.

How can I share this film with my community?

You can purchase a license to screen this and other great documentaries on our site here: rocofilms.com