top of page





Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.33.56 PM.png

Margie Gillis, Ed.D

Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.34.10 PM.png

Maria Murray, Ed.D

Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.34.27 PM.png

Julie Washington, Ph.D

Join us on an unforgettable journey, as Harvey Hubbell V spends a year following a class of first graders who are learning to read using a controversial new literacy system. Along the way, he reveals the causes of illiteracy, and exposes the individuals who are behind it.

Screen Shot 2023-06-06 at 2.07.08 PM.png

Harvey and local Waterbury Students


Harvey interviewing first graders


Our country has been failing to teach kids to read for many years and the cost is staggering. The United States is ranked 125th in literacy out of 194 nations in the world.

Waterbury Graphic.png

Low literacy contributes to every major social issue from unemployment to high crime, but as a nation we refuse to recognize it as a root problem. It’s a statistical fact that many of our biggest obstacles will vanish when we finally adopt methods of literacy education that work. 

There is a system that has been proven to work, and a growing grass roots movement of well meaning individuals are fighting for it to be used nationally,  but they are being blocked by a vast network of individuals who are deeply entrenched in the status quo, and profit from it. 

The battle between the two groups is called: “The Reading Wars” and it’s been covered extensively in the press by every major news organization (from all political stripes), including NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Fox News. It is the only news subject that all major publications agree on. 


Harvey collaborating with literacy advocates

Its Alarming.png
unsurprising decline.png
why students havent gotten better.png
2.2 Trillion.png
illiteracy is a national emergency.png
Illiteracy is costing america.png


HHV School Photo 1962.jpg

Harvey Hubbell V, 1962

Harvey Hubbell V aka outstanding in his field.jpg

Harvey Hubbell V, 2016

Harvey Hubbell V is a casualty of “The Reading Wars.” As a child with dyslexia, he struggled in school, where they failed to teach him using the same literacy methods that are used today. As an adult, he discovered that there is a way to teach all kids to read that isn’t being used in most schools, so he embarked on a quest to change how literacy is taught. 

To prove that the new system works, he spends a year with a class of diverse first graders and their teachers in Waterbury CT, to provide a never-before-seen look into the challenging process of learning to read. The kids work tirelessly to prepare for an end of the year test which will determine if they will move on to 2nd grade, or not.

Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.51.19 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.46.49 PM.png

Mrs. Martinez teaching using
multi-sensory techniques

Ms. Summa testing to 
track students progress

Screen Shot 2023-05-31 at 12.18.52 PM.png

Tate, who has ADHD, reads at home with mom

Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.49.53 PM.png

Kat has an undiagnosed reading difficulty

Rallying for change in San Francisco, CA

Not only does Hubbell show us solutions in the classroom, he travels the country to give a voice to the diverse cast of passionate educators, researchers, and determined individuals who are fighting the status quo. 

Screen Shot 2023-05-31 at 12.31.06 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-05-31 at 12.37.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-06-08 at 9.52.10 AM.png

Actor/Activist Ameer Baraka learned to read in prison
and now travels the world advocating for change

Diane Dragon uses her skills as a criminal defense
attorney to change her local school district's policies

Dena Mortenson introduced the new
literacy system used in Waterbury, CT

Through powerful storytelling and expert analysis, "Hopeville" takes viewers on a journey to understand the root causes of the reading crisis and its far-reaching implications. 

Screen Shot 2023-06-08 at 9.57.45 AM.png

APM Senior Education Correspondent Emily Hanford, broke the story on The Reading Wars in 2020

Screenshot 2023-06-08 at 9.29_edited.jpg

Harvey receives a full brain scan, Georgetown, VA

Gilmartin IDT Meeting.00_23_59_20.Still013.png

Ms. Summa reviewing test results with literacy facilitator, Laura Caruso

From intimate interviews with struggling students, to riveting classroom observations, "Hopeville" immerses audiences in the real-world experiences of those affected by the literacy crisis. The film sheds light on the emotional toll faced by individuals grappling with low literacy skills and the barriers they encounter in their pursuit of education and opportunities.

OnexOne Screenshot .jpg

These beacons demonstrate the transformative power of successful literacy instruction. "Hopeville: How to Win the Reading Wars" is an eye-opening, empowering documentary that serves as a rallying cry for change. 

On his journey, Hubbell showcases inspiring success stories of communities that have embraced the latest cutting-edge methods of reading instruction. "Hopeville: How to Win the Reading Wars" is an eye-opening, empowering documentary that serves as a rallying cry for change.

Diana Hanbury King, a pioneer in literacy education

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 2.58.25 PM.png

People from 108 Countries live in Waterbury and they march every year at “The Gathering” in a show of unity

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 2.57.32 PM.png

US Congresswoman, Jahana Hayes and Waterbury Mayor, Neil O’Leary speaking at “The Gathering”

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 2.57.50 PM.png

The Gathering” is one of the largest multicultural events in the country

Director's Statement

“I struggled so much in school. And outside of school. To the present day I struggle. Reading, writing…just trying to function in a world that requires literacy.


The way they teach reading in America today, only works for less than 30% of all kids, so some kids are going to do well, and the rest won't. That's how it's been for a long time.

Unless we do something, we are locking ourselves into a society where most people don't have access to the benefits that literacy provides, which guarantees that everyone suffers. 

Because we live in a world where so many problems are unsolvable, it's empowering to discover that this one is. There are small pockets on the educational landscape, like Waterbury, CT, where they can teach kids to read. We can use their success as a blueprint for the rest of the nation. 

It's my goal that this film is the tipping point that ends the Reading Wars forever."

-Harvey Hubbell V

Meet the Experts from Hopeville

"Hopeville: How to Win the Reading Wars," features breakthroughs from renowned scientists, researchers and educators who have dedicated their lives to solving the literacy crisis in America. 

The Production Team

The production team worked on Hopeville for more than six years. Overcoming challenges like the pandemic and inclement weather, to create the world's most comprehensive and thoroughly researched documentary about literacy.

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 3.25.32 PM.png

The Team filming in Waterbury, CT

Louisa Moats. Idaho 2.jpg

Battling the weather with Louisa Moats

Harvey and crew interviewing Emily Hanford from Sold A Story podcast.JPG

Creating an important film, battling through Covid


This movie is more than just a film – it's a movement

With a deep commitment to raising awareness and effecting change, we have built a comprehensive website advocacy toolkit to keep the momentum going. This toolkit equips individuals and organizations with the resources they need to advocate for literacy, and make a meaningful impact in their communities. 

Screen Shot 2023-05-25 at 1.03.48 PM.png














Hopeville was made possible by: & The Hubbell Difference Foundation

Screen Shot 2023-05-18 at 2.47.46 PM.png is a media hub and video platform for showcasing exclusive cause-driven content that retools how we approach learning and growth. advocates for creating better lives for our communities by reforming education and resolving critical social issues that affect us all. We believe the best way to make this happen is by sharing compelling stories that tell how these changes can be achieved. The stories are the seeds that grow and become change. is the brainchild of award-winning filmmaker Harvey Hubbell V. For over thirty years, Harvey, through his company Captured Time Productions, has dedicated his time, energy and extraordinary creativity to giving experts in the fields of education, health & wellness, and the environment a platform to showcase their knowledge.

Our mission: To holistically nourish the wellbeing of all people and inspire them to thrive and live passionately through socially impactful filmmaking.


The Hubbell Difference Foundation: is the distribution arm of The Hubbell Difference Foundation, Inc, a not for profit 501(c)(3)established in 2011 to educate and engage lifelong learners in the areas of education, holistic learning, wellness and sustainability through film documentary projects.

bottom of page