This required course emphasizes critical reading as well as analytical and creative writing skills. Students study the major literary genres, including novels, drama, poetry, and nonfiction. The course examines images of women in literature, including archetypal female figures. In addition to these topics, English I incorporates a service-learning project to enhance students’ literacy skills. By tutoring younger readers, students become aware of their own strengths and challenges as readers and connect classroom learning to the broader community. To strengthen students’ writing and close reading skills, vocabulary and grammar fluency are emphasized. Through class discussions and reflection, students develop an appreciation of language and literature. Texts may include: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Homer's TheOdyssey.