The Grand Center Arts Academy literacy program provides an exceptional selection in classic and contemporary literature with a balance of fiction and non-fiction. Students will be exposed to increasingly complex texts, in both content and structure. The course sequence meets the expectations within the Missouri Learning Standards for Communication Arts. The program is designed to provide students the reading and writing skills needed for strong academic achievement on the Communication Arts Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and English 2 End of Course Exam (EOC). More importantly, it is designed to encourage reading, writing and thinking critically. In addition, the literature included in our core program provides many opportunities for seamless integration of the arts into instruction. The Communication Arts curricula prepares students to: Reading Demonstrate the ability to read, comprehend, and evaluate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and printed media. Writing Demonstrate the ability to communicate in Standard English through a variety of formal and informal formats and modes for a variety of purposes. Listening/Speaking/Viewing Demonstrate the ability to participate in formal and informal situations listening critically and analytically and speaking effectively to communicate ideas and information. Critical Thinking Demonstrate the ability to identify, evaluate, and solve problems individually or cooperatively. Beyond the obvious instances of excerpts from theatre or the use of art works to illustrate particular stories, articles, poems, and other genres, ample opportunities are provided for students to think of creative ways to read and interpret the literature. Whether it is reading in character the dialogue from a short story, exploring the character’s motivation and personality through extended writing activities that an actor might use to build backstory for his or her character, using drawing or graphic design to elaborate on mood or setting, reciting or illustrating poems, designing posters for key concepts in a persuasive essay, students will experience many creative applications of the arts to literature and writing assignments. Students completing the literacy program will be able to read and comprehend multiple texts, both fiction and non-fiction, encompassing a breadth of genres (short stories, drama, poetry, articles from newspapers and magazines, websites, reviews, memoirs, expository and persuasive essays, and workplace documents) and will be competent using multiple comprehension approaches to those texts. Students will develop strong vocabulary skills, enabling them to approach future high school texts with confidence and strong writing skills for clear communication across content areas.