Literacy is often broadly defined as the ability to read, write, speak, listen, and think critically. Research shows that being literate is closely linked to one’s ability to access power and negotiate the world around them. Young people need to develop strong literacy skills to communicate effectively, gain respect from peers and authority, participate in their communities in a meaningful way, and fully contribute to society. Building literacy, therefore, goes far beyond improving a child’s ability to read and write. It speaks to the larger societal issues of access and equity. In our society, being literate opens doors, allowing one to access power, and in many cases, helps to level the playing field. However, approximately 1 in 4 young people are struggling to read and comprehend grade level textbooks and subject matter materials as they enter middle and high school.