DIRT GROUP Paradigm Clinical Training Series

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm Applied Clinical Training Series

“Thanks for the soap! Amazing program! I’m very inspired. Great knowledge of trauma, brain science and integration of therapeutic practice.”
-2019 Workshop Attendee


The DIRT GROUP Paradigm

“Cutting edge”, innovative children’s mental health and education training series in Minnesota

Summer/Fall 2019 Session:
This training will engage and inspire you to incorporate this dynamic and award-winning approach in your practice/work with children and adolescents. This training is for mental health practitioners/professionals, teachers, educators, medical professionals, etc. 

Saturday August 17th:                    9am-5:30pm     (8 CEU’s)
Saturday September 21st:            9am-5:30pm       (8 CEU’s)
Saturday October 12th:                 9am-5:30pm       (8 CEU’s)

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm: Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow. Creative innovations in children’s mental health and education.

This training series will provide an understanding of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the corresponding 12 cranial nerves, how trauma, chronic stress, and adverse childhood experiences impact us at a nervous system level.  This series examines neuroscience and applied theory that promotes healing, attachment, attunement, and well-being manifesting in social and emotional intelligence. Through a combination of lecture, experiential exercises, and discussion, this series will explore six major theoretical foundations, innovative applied strategies, neuroplasticity, and the importance of social context and group skills work with children and adolescents.

*All hours are clinical content hours
*All sessions have their own learning objectives, description, and post-test
*Kenny is a Minnesota Board of Social Work approved CEU Provider

$120.00/day or $300.00 for all three days

Register HERE: kidsneeddirt.com
Secure payments through PayPal
Payment plans are available, for more information call or email:

(320) 220-2551

Feedback from previous workshop attendees:

  • “Great information! Presenter had good awareness and passion very clear! Thank you!”
  • “Wonderful!”
  • “This model can also build community capital – community organizing, etc. Was packed with possibility – a little overwhelmed.”
  • “Very exciting to see a tangible hands on approach.”
  • “Great info! Presenter had great energy. I would love to go to a longer training on this topic.”
  • “He was very passionate and that made me want to listen to him.”
  • “Awesome and inspiring. Thank you!”
  • “Excellent energy, education, and totally new information. Fantastic workshop!”
  • “The best thus far. Wow. Thank you!”
  • “This was very invigorating.”
  • “Best talk ever. Personable knowledgeable helpful.”
  • “More time. Amazing. Also combo self care. Awesome, more time?”
  • “Great presentation, great concept, very passionate.”
  • “Kenny’s passion for his work is contagious. Excellent application value!”
  • “Kenny is kind, caring, and passionate about all people! He is an incredible person and wants the best for each and every person!”
  • “Interesting, but if this could be applied to other types of programs with adults – golden!”
  • “Excellent!”
  • “Wonderful work you do and wonderful presentation! The world needs more people like you.”
  • “Thank you for giving handouts for this material! Such an interesting and fantastic program – hope you keep expanding.”
  • “Best ever – wow!”
  • “First session in which I didn’t get out my phone.”
  • “Kenny is fantastic! I don’t know how he makes all these pieces work together! Fantastic and groundbreaking.”




Soothing the Autonomic Nervous System

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm manifesting today at our metro site. Lavender & Mint Herb Sachets and Soaps – Cranial Nerve #1


Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow and the

Polyvagal Theory

Cranial Nerves 5,7,9,10,11 Soothing the autonomic nervous system & promoting social engagement. #dirtgroupusa #mentalhealth #socialwork #social-engagement

#neuroception #naswmn social and emotional learning

intentionally focused, redundant, experiential, visceral, novel, meaningful/purposful, aerobic, and consistent group skills training #dirtgroupthemarinade #dirtgroupparadigm #iaswg http://www.dirtgroupglobal.com

C O O K I E S !!!!

4BubbasFoods’ What the Cluck Food Truck…waaah!!???

Kids making gourmet cookies and learning math, science, writing, marketing, economics, design, entrepreneurship, agriculture, connection, inclusion, a paycheck, & more.

DIRT GROUP Global: Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow

The Prairie Soil Youth Cooperative is coming…

Social & Emotional Learning

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm

Litchfield/Hutchinson DIRT GROUP’s made Lavender soap from the lavender we grew together…intentionally focused, redundant, novel, experiential, visceral, aerobic, sense of purpose/meaningful, consistency…social & emotional learning requires lived experiences

Grounded & informed in applied theory in practice: experiential learning, social learning, strength-based, symbolic interactionism, & ecological systems theories; DIRT GROUP is a resiliency informed, children’s mental health application based in social and emotional learning in the context of a group experiential gardening, farming, foods, & creative arts project. DIRT GROUP is in Hutchinson, Litchfield, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, & Willmar. What the Cluck Food Truck, 4BubbasFoods, Hooganaga Family Farms. Tangible outcomes, skills which prepare participants for life, pride & ownership, the “BIG ripple effect”

(opportunities to participate and make a difference in community), social context/social inclusion. Human development. Community Development. Economic development, rooted in social justice.





Prairie Soil Youth Cooperative

#socialworkwithgroups #iaswg #executivefunction

The neuroscience behind social & emotional intelligence.

According to prominent findings in neuroscience, neuroplasticity is the process of creating new neural pathways through activities which are visceral, novel, intentionally focused, experiential, redundant, aerobic, meaningful, and consistent (Siegel, 2011, 2012). Engaging in activities which include these ingredients strengthen synaptic connections allowing us to learn, practice, and master new skills or reacquire skills we may have lost due to lived experiences which lacked necessary social contexts for these opportunities, or learning that was disrupted due to various trauma, mental illness, or other significant disruptions in one’s developmental trajectory (see the A.C.E.’s Study). More recently however, we have noticed an exponential increase in emotional and behavioral dysregulation in younger and younger children, as well as these manifestations increasing in frequency and intensity.

it appears we may have reached the tipping point in our obsession with convenience (easy, fast, fun, now) as evidenced by more screen-based learning, and children consuming more and more screen time. Although learning about and understanding technology is important, our obsession with convenience and efficiency has lead to a lived experience which lacks time spent in a social context necessary to develop social and emotional intelligence. There is only so much time in a day, and based on what now seems like common knowledge, youth ages 8-18 in the United States consume over 60 hours of screen time each week. The amount of time left for lived experience is virtually non-existent. This lack of lived experience inhibits and/or prevents opportunities for social and emotional learning resulting in more incidents representing emotional and behavioral dysregulation. Without real lived opportunities to deal with frustration, disappointment, failure, rejection, discomfort, etc. children’s nervous systems repeatedly miss out on opportunities for their bodies to learn, practice, master, and generalize dealing with these experiences which help us become socially and emotionally intelligent.

What is social and emotional intelligence:

Lived experience is required for social and emotional learning to take place (see neuroplasticity above).  Although technology is very important to learn, it does not provide lived experiences which promote or foster social and emotional learning/intelligence. It may actually do the opposite.

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm is the integration of experiential learning, social learning, symbolic interactionism, strength-based, and ecological systems theories and neuroplasticity, also referred to as the “MARINADE”.

A “marinade” is a great metaphor to understand how these combination of ingredients (through lived experiences/experiential learning) are necessary for social and emotional learning to take place. Just like we “soak” foods in a marinade of various ingredients sometimes for grilling/cooking, we create the MARINADE (milieu) with the ingredients of neuroplasticity and applied theory in practice, creating a social context which provides rich experiential learning opportunities to “soak” (learn, practice, master, and generalize) in this context and thereby increase social and emotional intelligence through lived experiences.

The DIRT GROUP Paradigm is an award winning after school youth development and children’s mental health application grounded and informed in theory and neuroscience. DIRT GROUP is rooted in social and emotional learning in the context of a gardening, farming, foods, and creative arts project.

Our Mission – DIRT GROUP Global, Inc.

Through integrity, competence, and service, DIRT GROUP Global, Inc. honors the dignity and worth of every person, the importance of human relationships, and works toward social justice for all people by growing to learn, and learning to grow in human, community, and economic development focused on increasing social and emotional intelligence through participation in experiential group gardening, farming, foods, and creative arts projects.

DIRT GROUP Global, Inc. 2019

"Growing to Learn…Learning to Grow"