Lights, Camera... Leadership!

Last Updated: February 24, 2004

Lights Camera Leadership!
By Helen Beattie

Lights, Camera...Leadership! is a high school credit-bearing curriculum through which students develop leadership and academic skills by making and premiering a community video of some important issue in their community.

The primary tasks for students are to:
  • Develop a thought-provoking community video that captures some important aspect of your community from past, present, and future perspectives.
  • Inform, persuade or influence the viewers' perspectives on the given topic.
  • Balance what the community is doing well concerning the issue with the challenges that must be faced.
  • Premiere the video at a community gathering and facilitate dialogue sessions afterwards.
Students learn how to run focus groups, conduct effective interviews, facilitate a group, develop a compelling storyline and work as an effective production team member. They develop marketable video production skills along with standards-based communication skills, reasoning and problem solving, personal development and civic responsibility. Content standards in the areas of technology, social studies, and language arts are also addressed in this engaging course.

Lights, Camera...Leadership! provides an opportunity to affirm the inherent leadership abilities of each and every class participant, and builds these skills yet stronger. Teens who often feel detached from their communities become experts in one important aspect of their town's future, as well as knowledgeable about its past. They are respected by adults for providing a valued service to the community and acting in a professional manner. Participants experience the satisfaction of identifying and exploring an issue of importance, mobilizing others to become invested, and contributing to the identity and future direction of the town. These are life skills that will contribute to the desire and capacity of these young people to become life-long valued and engaged citizens.

This curriculum was developed in cooperation with the Orton Family Foundation and the Vermont Rural Partnership.

Related Resources

Lights, Camera . . . Leadership! Vermont Youth Document Their Communities

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