The great novelist Victor Hugo said, “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” This sentiment echoes the inquiry- based philosophy that is the groundwork of all English courses at Port Richmond High School. Through promoting engagement in individual and group investigation, our students build knowledge through reading, writing, discussion, and debate. Our approach provides the lens through which student develop strong literacy skills such as argumentation, analysis of an author’s bias or intent, and cultivate writing skills through the Hochman Writing Program and Common Core- aligned curriculum and performance tasks. The ultimate goal for student learning within Port Richmond High School’s English department is the development of sound reading, writing, speaking, and listening capabilities, as such skills will become crucial as students move to post-secondary education and careers. Ultimately, we offer our students the opportunity to “light a fire,” thus sparking a keen understanding of literature and its power not only to consider the meanings of humanity, but to question and consider the innate humanity within themselves and others.