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Inspire a Generation


Upcoming Workshops!

Naptime U. Professional Development Workshop

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 from 12pm to 2:30pm

Preventing the Preschool to Prison Pipeline with Arts Integration

Guest Speaker: Dr. Bweikia Steen


This interactive session will reflect upon and discuss the causes for the preschool to prison pipeline and will analyze the role arts integration plays in the early childhood curriculum to counter the achievement gap among children of color.  Dr. Bwekia Steen joins Inner City - Inner Child, to discuss how arts can help promote social emotional and academic achievement for children living in poverty.  Participants will gain developmentally appropriate strategies they will be able to immediately use in their classroom. Get ready to dance and sing!

Spaces are limited so be sure to register!


Read With Me (Family Literacy Program) 

SATURDAY, December 8th, 2018
11 AM - 12 PM

My Heart Fills With Happiness When… I Create Art

Teaching Artist: Karen Brown

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What fills your heart with happiness?

Holding the hand of someone you love? Reading a cozy bedtime story? The smell of fresh baked cookies? Creating a work of art?

With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to take a deep breath and reflect on what brings us joy and how we can bring joy to others. Celebrate the holidays with Inner City- Inner Child and visual artist Karen Brown by creating art based on the book My Heart Fills With Happiness. Families with young children will experiment with various materials to create gifts for loved ones

Everyone receives a FREE copy of “My Heart Fills With Happiness” to take home at the end of the workshop.


Recommended for families with children ages 2 - 6, but everyone is welcome!




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About Us

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The mission of Inner City-Inner Child is to improve the quality of early childhood education for children ages 0 to 5 living in Washington, DC’s most economically disadvantaged communities. We inspire a life-long love of learning and books through arts-based literacy programs for children, their teachers and families.


Inner City-Inner Child envisions a world in which every child has access to quality early childhood education and enters kindergarten ready to learn.


For over two decades, Inner City-Inner Child, the arts education/literacy program of the historic Dumbarton Concerts, has provided quality arts integration and early childhood development programs to low-income, community-based early childhood centers throughout Washington, D.C.  Dumbarton Concerts began community outreach in 1987 with a program called Live Music Now!, an initiative to bring music out of the concert hall and into isolated neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Through this work, we discovered that young children had the greatest unmet needs in our community.  In response, Inner City-Inner Child was created in 1994 to reach the District’s neediest children. ICIC programs work to create an environment that supports school readiness for the neediest preschool children in our Nation’s Capital by introducing teachers and children to the power of integrating the arts with academics.  By helping centers become accredited, and stay accredited by the National Association for the Accreditation Education of Young Children (NAEYC), ICIC improves the quality of early childhood education in DC.


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  Click the photo to read the Washington Times article featuring Inner City-Inner Child

Click the photo to read the Washington Times article featuring Inner City-Inner Child

The Results are in...



  • 4,162 low-income preschool children served

  • 215 early childhood educators trained

  • 1,118 professional development hours earned

  • 376 workshops given

  • 3,842 books donated

  • 51 early childhood programs served



Professional Development Workshops

Inner City –Inner Child provides on-site professional development workshops during your staff development days.  2–6 hour workshops are available. All participants earn OSSE certified clock hours.  We work with you to create a workshop that best suits the needs of your teachers and students.


Contact us to request a professional development workshop for your teachers.


Our Programs



(Classroom Residency)
Each year ICIC selects six low-income early childhood centers to participate in a three month early literacy and arts integration residency. A team of ICIC Teaching Artists prepare Pre-K students for a final performance, while providing professional development to their teachers by modeling ways to integrate music, dance and drumming to teach literacy, math, and social skills.
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(Professional Development Program)
This professional development program for teachers in DC, certified by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, provides early childhood educators with quality, affordable continuing education. The workshops, most of which take place during the children’s naptime, are taught by Master Teacher Artists. The workshop topics align with all National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Common Core standards.

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(Family Literacy Program)
Fewer than half of American children (47.8%) between birth and five years are read to every day by their parents, according to Reach Out and Read National Center.  ICIC's family literacy initiative helps parents become actively involved in their children’s literacy and learning. Literacy trainers teach parents how to create literacy experiences at home so learning continues beyond the school day. ICIC provides on-site workshops during evening hours, informal, relaxed sessions that include dinner and book giveaways.

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(Book Donation Program)
Every year, ICIC donates books to DC’s low-income early childhood development programs to stock their classroom libraries.  We also provide hundreds of children with brand new books to take home.  Often, these are the first books these children have ever owned. We believe that something as simple as a backpack filled with books not only inspires enthusiasm for reading, but also sends an empowering message to the children that they matter, and that people care about their future.
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Without the generous support from our donors and partners, we would not be able to bring our services to the Washington DC community. Thank you for all your support!

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