Perseverance Pays Off

Teaching important social & life skills happens quite naturally in the garden and on the farm. These pictures demonstrate some of the tangible results of our cooperative/experiential learning groups. In order for us to be successful growing food together in DIRT GROUP participants learn, practice, & master skills related to emotional self-regulation which includes cooperating with others, following instructions, delaying gratification, dealing with frustration, staying on task, persevering on difficult tasks or projects, doing good quality work, talking with others, planning, being patient, problem solving, and many more. Participating in DIRT GROUP also gives participants an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves in a safe, structured, cohesive environment. For many at-risk youth DIRT GROUP provides a REAL sense of social inclusion and belonging. With donations to local food shelves & participating in local markets – youth develop a sense that they can make a positive difference in their communities and feel a strong sense of ownership and pride in themselves. This has a “big ripple effect” as these young people begin to form a social identity where they are acknowledged & affirmed for participating in their communities and begin to shed the labels of “troubled” or “delinquent” youth. These are REAL achievements–not only observable to others but also experienced by participants as a REAL increase of their self-esteem through these accomplishments & contributions. As these youth increase their social competencies through their participation in DIRT GROUP they also learn to generalize these skills to other areas of their lives thereby increasing the quality of their interactions and relationships with family members, peers, and others. The outcome of this marinade increases the mental health of our participants. (NEXT–more on the neurobiology/neuroscience connection and further implications for practice).











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  1. Pingback: dirt group…history :) | DIRT GROUP USA

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