Watch The First Grader Trailer and Make a Difference!

You can help The First Grader make a real difference in people’s’ lives! Every time The First Grader trailer is viewed on YouTube, Capella University will make a .50 donation—up to $50,000 total— to be shared by the three great organizations described on this page. These organizations promote literacy and education around the world.

Simply view The First Grader trailer on You Tube, and Capella University will help kids discover the power of reading!

Enjoy the trailer, and thanks for your support.

Reading Is Fundamental

Photo: A boy and a girl hold books
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit. RIF prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. By giving every child the opportunity to choose a book to own, RIF sparks a lifelong desire to read, and instills the confidence and esteem to empower them to write their own story and achieve success in life.

RIF’s vision is to create a literate America where all children have access to books—one book, one choice, one child at a time. Learn more at

The Kakenya Center for Excellence

Photo: A group of schoolgirls smiling
The Academy for Girls: An Agent of Change

Founded by Kakenya Ntaiya, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, educator, and activist, The Kakenya Center for Excellence is a primary boarding school focused on serving the most vulnerable and underprivileged Maasai girls. The first primary girls’ school in the region, the academy focuses on academic excellence, female empowerment, leadership, and community development.

Located in the Keyian division of the Trans Mara district of Kenya, the Center opened in May 2009 with 32 students. The Center enrolled an additional 31 students in January 2010 in fourth grade. Their ultimate goal is to enroll 150 students in grades four through eight.

South Sudan Institute

Photo: A child at school

Teacher Training, Agricultural Training, Peace and Reconciliation Training

South Sudan Institute (SSI) is dedicated to creating sustainable skills and self-sufficiency for returning refugees in communities throughout South Sudan. They have created a replicable model program in Duk Payuel stressing teacher training and education.

The Teacher Training Initiative is supported by International Reading Association and by Rotary International. Professors from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, train South Sudanese teacher-leaders on methods of teaching academics. John Dau, a human rights activist for the people of South Sudan and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, helps select the teacher-leaders.

Training is ongoing: the first session was conducted in Tanzania in August 2009, and the second in March 2011 in Juba with the help of the Juba Rotary. At the 2011 session, 14 teachers from three counties were trained with the teaching skills to go back to their villages, where each of them will personally train five additional teachers.

Find a Theater

The First Grader is playing internationally. Check our theater listings to find out where you can see it.

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For Educators

Find ideas for classroom discussion about the film, The First Grader.

Download the Educator's Guide (PDF) »