Literacy is conventionally defined as the ability to read and write, but the definition can also include the ability to express oneself in all forms of language including speech and oral comprehension.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as "the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.  Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society."  Literacy rates usually correlate with social equality, levels of human capital, and governmental commitments to education and human development.

The following is from Literacy Inc.

"There is a childhood literacy crisis in the U.S.!

Alarmingly, 74% of students living in poverty will leave third grade reading below grade level, 
many never to catch up. Students who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade have a 35% likelihood of dropping out of high school. High school drop outs face chronic unemployment, dependence on public assistance and economic marginalization as adults, thus renewing the 
cycle of poverty.

Reading is not a subject area. Reading is a fundamental skill.

Over 85% of the school curriculum relies on competent literacy skills for learning and instruction. When we fail to ensure that children read proficiently by the time they leave third grade—the 
point in their education when they must read proficiently to learn—the cascading effects can 
be devastating."

The Boys and Girls Club of Goshen offers an attempt to address low literacy rates among low-income demographics by offering a space within the Club called the learning center.  At the learning center there are always tutors ready to help kids with any homework they have.  The program aims to excite kids about the prospect of learning.