Principal Investigator Valerie L. Williams-Sanchez is a Ph.D. candidate in Literacy in the School of Education at St. John’s University, New York City. Her research and writing focus on culturally relevant content, multimodal learning, and access, equity, and inclusion for emergent readers of color. Ms. Williams-Sanchez earned her Master’s of Science in Journalism from Columbia University. Her Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature with an emphasis on African American Literature was conferred from the University of California, Berkeley. She also studied Spanish literature, language and cultural history at the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. As an undergraduate teacher, She taught at Berkeley High School’s East Campus, part of UC Berkeley’s Break the Cycle educational program for at-risk youth. She has developed adult literacy programs for immigrant parents in her native Southern California through Wise Place, Santa Ana, as well as special projects and programs for the more than 250 residents of the Williams Institute, Inc., residential therapeutic group homes for at-risk teenaged girls, over her 10 year tenure, there. In addition, she has taught at-risk boys in grades K-12 at the Greenburgh Eleven Union Free School District in Dobbs Ferry, New York, residents of Children's Village. Ms. Williams-Sanchez is also the self-published author/illustrator of the Cocoa Kids CollectionTM books.