Becoming a Leader in Your Community
Committee of Seventy Logo
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Spanish Vietnamese

Becoming a Leader in Your Community

Carl the Complainer by Michelle Knudsen

Carl the Complainer is available as a YouTube read-aloud.

We can all become positive change agents in our communities!  Reflect on a time you thought something needed to be changed in order to make your home, classroom, school, or community a better place.  We all remember those times.  Now, it is time to think about how each of us can do something about it; that is, become a leader in our home, classroom, school, and/or community.

Listen to Carl the Complainer, a story about a young boy who is always complaining about things he thinks are wrong about his neighborhood, but he never puts his concerns into action.  It is when Carl finally takes action that something gets done, and Carl becomes a community leader, a leader like each of us has the potential to become.  

To Think About:

  1. Do you think complaining about the early time the park closes will ever get the town leaders to change the time the park closes?  Why or why not?
  2. In the story, Dale signs an on-line petition so that a show he likes on TV does not get cancelled.  What do you already know about a petition?  Would you sign a petition if a good friend asked you to, even if you did not agree with what the petition was asking for?  Why or why not?
  3. Carl and Dale got their friends to help try to convince  town leaders to keep the park open later.  What do you think you could do to get your friends to help you with a plan you have to make your community better?
  4. Do you think Carl is becoming a leader in his community?  Why or why not?  What characteristics do you already have that would make others see you as a leader?
  5. Now that you have listened to Carl the Complainer, think of something you have complained about for which you would like to take action?  For example, do you have a recreation center in your community?  If so, is there an activity that you would like to see added to what is already being offered?  For another example, you know there are students in your school whose families do not always have enough food for their dinners.  Food insecurity is a growing problem that you might like to do something about for the students in your school.
  6. Let’s make a class list of ideas that you as  leaders suggest to make your school, home, and/or community better.

S.T.A.R. Card: 

As part of a group - a family, a class, a school, a team, a club, a community – we all have responsibilities.  To what groups do you belong?  Name one of your responsibilities and the group it supports.

(Lesson developed by Anne Spector, C70's Lead Educator.)