Our video, “Every Opportunity,” has gone viral around the country and the world. The video stars a young boy who explains what it feels like when an adult ignores him or loses patience with him and demonstrates how changes in adult behavior can profoundly affect a child’s ability to learn to read and prosper into adulthood.

Here’s the rest of the story. The video was developed based on the research of the country’s leading brain development and literacy experts on how to construct the “reading brain.” It is crucial that children birth to 8 receive early social and emotional engagement, and intentional development of language skills, vocabulary and comprehension to support young children in learning to read and older students in reading to learn. There is rising concern across the country, and increasing effort, to attack the nation’s illiteracy crisis. The tragic truth is that only 36 percent of all children in the U.S. have the ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade.

The Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center offers professional development for teachers of children birth through eight that bridges what we know from the research with a teacher’s instruction in the classroom. Our proven results demonstrate substantial growth in student achievement and teacher performance. This training is available at no charge through our Cox Campus portal, readrightfromthestart.org for teachers of children birth to 5, with K-3rd courses available next year, thanks to a generous grant from the James M Cox Foundation.

We encourage childcare and preschool teachers and any others interested to register for this free program at readrightfromthestart.org. This online professional development is the natural next step for teachers to translate the message of the video to their own classrooms and be part of the movement to end our country’s illiteracy epidemic.