Two teachers at Hammond High School are empowering students to think about social issues while they read classic literature. A few years ago, Alec Livieratos, social studies instructional team leader, and Scott Osborne, 10th-grade English teacher and curriculum team leader, discovered the vast amount of curricular connections between the government and English classes they teach. They wanted to build on that and so have been working with students for the past three years in their Bonus Class offered a few times a year after school. Osborne told me they strive to find times when the most students can participate, working around concerts, athletics and other events. They plan an integrated lesson and invite students to join them after school with the purpose of learning something new and having a fun experience. No extra credit or service learning hours are provided, so students come because simply because they have an intellectual curiosity. Typically, between 60 and 90 students participate.