Naptime U

Naptime U. delivers accessible, affordable, quality professional development workshops for early childhood educators in Washington, D.C.

    • Inner City – Inner Child is  a training organization certified by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
    • Educators who participate in Naptime U. earn professional development “clock hours” required by OSSE.
    • All workshops are aligned with NAEYC and Common Core early childhood standards.
    • On-site professional development workshops available 

    Request a Professional Development Workshop for Your Teachers

    Naptime U. Schedule

    Matthews Memorial Church  |   Time:  12:00pm – 2:30pm
    2616 MLK Jr. Ave SE  |  Washington DC 20032  |  Ground Floor, Lecture Hall  
    $20 for PART 1 & PART 2 of Workshop ($10/Workshop). Includes lunch.

    Receive 4 OSSE clock hours for entire workshop series.



    Musical Books: Building Early Childhood Literacy Skills With Music and Movement

    Teaching Artist: Imani Gonzalez

    Children’s comprehension increases when they experience a book through sound, sight, movement and emotion. In this 2-part workshop, develop strategies to use movement, sound and rhythm to tell a story. Inner City- Inner Child Teaching Artist, Imani Gonzalez, will guide early childhood educators through a process of creating a Soundscape, a way to retell the story that connects students to a book’s tone, mood, setting, and character’s cultures. Using Soundscapes, Students will hone their listening skills, acquire new vocabulary and develop their creativity through sensory imagery and visualization, all crucial skills for learning how to read. You will discover new ways to increase students’ connections to the text and illustrations of their favorite books.

    Participants receive a FREE book so they can continue their newly acquired skills in their classroom.


    Imani Gonzalez performs and conducts vocal workshops concentrating on traditional world music nationally, from the cultures of Asia, West and South Africa, South America and the Caribbean. She has conducted traditional World Music workshops for the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and offers exciting professional development workshops, residencies, classroom modeling, arts coaching for teachers, and school performances for communities at every level. She has performed traditional African music for the Smithsonian Institute, Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival, and the World Music Institute. Imani has taught in the DC Public School system and in private schools as a traditional world music teacher. In past years, she has received grants from both the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Artist-In-Education Program for the Maryland State Arts Council. She has also served as Consultant for the PDAE Grant Committee of Jacksonville, Florida. Imani is a Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts (WPA) teaching artist and is on the roster with the Maryland State Arts Council, and United Arts Council of North Carolina.

    Having received vocal training from New England Conservatory, Berklee School of Music and Howard University, Imani’s performances connect her passion for sharing world culture and her musical profession. She has had the honor of performing,touring, and recording with such renowned artists as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at LincolnCenter Orchestra, Stephon Harris, Wycliffe Gordon, Hilton Ruiz and Djimo Kouyate. Imani has written two world music books for children entitled Dhimiki and Iyipo Ayé.



    A-Go! A-May!: Use African Songs, Dance and Drumming to Teach Early Childhood Literacy and Math

    Teaching Artists: Sylvia Soumah & Abdou Muhammad

    Early childhood educators explore ways to use movement, music and rhythm to teach crucial pre-reading and early math skills as well as essential social-emotional abilities. Simple African dance movements not only help develop motor coordination, but also teach sequencing and positional language. Drumming teaches counting, number recognition and one-to-one correspondence. Singing African songs exposes children to the languages of other cultures and promotes community and collaboration.  

    Participants will use their newly acquired knowledge to create activities based on multi-cultural books they can immediately implement in their classrooms. Come prepared to sing, dance and have fun!

    Participants receive FREE book, CD and handout with lyrics and activities


    An ICIC Teaching Artist since 1995, Ms. Soumah has been dancing and teaching African dance in Washington since 1992.  She is Founder and Director of Coyaba Dance Theater, D.C.’s critically acclaimed & award-winning African Dance company. Sylvia’s extensive West African Dance experience has lead her to tour with some of the best artists of the National Ballet of the Republic of Guinea. Coyaba Dance Theater performs Outreach/Inreach dance and drumming workshops for the Dance Place, Smithsonian, Washington Performing Arts Society, The Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Washington Ballet at the ARC.. Ms. Soumah has performed and taught in Korea, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea. Currently Ms. Soumah teaches at Coyaba Academy, Dance Place, and The Washington Ballet at THE ARC. In 2015 Ms. Soumah was awarded the prestigious Pola Nirenska award for Dance and was a Finalist in the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education in DC. Ms. Soumah studied Modern Dance and Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati.


    With over 30 years’ experience playing the Djembe, Abdou Muhammad has been on a musical journey to Oneness. Starting playing the Djembe when he was 3 years old, he has been fortunate to be taught and received extensive training from: Songa of the Valley, David Rock, Ezibu Muntu, Melvin Deal, Papa Aziz and his God Father and who he name after, Abdou Kounta.  At the age of 3, Abdou began learning the art of djembe from Songa of the Valley who was the lead drummer for Baba Olatunji’s Company.  His family moved to Richmond and he joined Ezibu Muntu.  He became their lead drummer at the age of 11 years old and held the position until he was 19 years old.  Continuing his journey Abdou moved to the Washington, DC area where he was a member or performed with: African Heritage, Coyaba Dance Theater, Soul In Motion, KanKouran, Elegba Folklore Society, Ezibu Muntu, Green Beats, The Washington Ballet, The Dance Place, Step Africa and many more.  Abdou has also open for “Fela”, the Broadway Play in DC, National Slave Ground Anniversary in Richmond, VA, Nigerian Embassy Celebration, NACA Conference, and at the National Cathedral School.


    Friday, February 10, 2017 - Part 1

    Friday, February 17, 2017 - part 2

    My Turn, Your Turn: Using the Arts to promote Self-regulation and Cooperation in the Early Childhood Classroom”

     Teaching Artist: Marcia Daft

    Many of our youngest learners don’t come to preschool and kindergarten with social skills already in place. Some children are not used to following group directions; others may not have experience sharing with other children; and many have never been part of a learning circle.

    In this workshop, learn playful moving and chanting strategies that invite children into the joys of group learning. Discover developmentally appropriate ways to help young children learn how to listen to a teacher, follow directions, collaborate with their peers, and gain motor control of their own bodies and voices. Skills developed in this workshop come Marcia Daft’s renowned arts-integrated curriculum, Moving Through Math.

    Participants receive FREE musical instruments to take back to their classrooms.



    Marcia Daft is the Founder and Artistic Director of Moving Through Math and Moving Through Science. Her company produces and publishes children’s books, instructional materials, and videos that bring arts integrated learning to life in the classroom. Marcia is a national workshop presenter for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  and  a Master Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Ms. Marcia has also developed museum exhibitions and educational programs for the Smithsonian Institution. She has written more than twenty children's educational booklets with CD’s for The Smithsonian Institution and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Daft graduated Phi Beta Kappa in bio-medical engineering from Duke University. She was a Century Fellow at The University of Chicago, where she earned a Master’s Degree in music. She studied piano performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and holds both a Certificate and License in Dalcroze Eurhythmics - a technique of integrating music and dance.


    Friday, March 3, 2017 - Part 1

    Friday, March 10, 2017 - part 2

    The Art of Math: Using Visual Arts to Promote Early Childhood Math Concepts

    Teaching Artist: Karen O. Brown

    Come explore geometric shapes, number recognition, patterns, and sequencing - all important early childhood math concepts.  Using visual arts to teach key concepts is a proven way for young children to obtain and retain crucial math skills. Together, we’ll design games, create colorful books and art projects, adding innovation and fun for all. The workshop is hands-on, using simple techniques to bring a fresh approach to math into your early childhood classroom.   

    Karen O. Brown is a fun, supportive arts educator and loves to collaborate with all educators.  Come, bring your sense of humor and we’ll explore our creativity together!

    Participants receive FREE art supplies to take back to their classroom


    Karen is a professional artist with extensive experience as an arts educator. She draws students into learning curriculum as they discover the joys of artistic expression. She conducts 30 to 40 workshops and residencies a year in DC, MD and VA for organizations such as The Kennedy Center, Class Acts Arts, Washington Performing Arts, The Smithsonian Museums and numerous public libraries. Karen recently led professional development workshops for 20 Native American Elementary Education Teachers in North Dakota for the Smithsonian Education Outreach Program and conducts professional development workshops in her studio. Karen has permanent art installations at the DC Commission for the Arts, Children's National Medical Center and the DC Convention Center. In 2010, she completed a 23' mural with 1st through 5th graders at Ideal Academy Public Charter School based on the painted house designs of the Ndebele women of South Africa.  Her international travels in Asia, Europe, Central and South America inform and enrich her creative and imaginative approach to teaching, leading workshops and creating public art. Ms. Brown’s education includes graduate studies in textiles, ceramics, sculpture, 3- D and surface design, bookmaking, and photography. Karen's teaching methods reach all types of students and their individual learning modalities. Content is deepened as art is infused into every aspect of classroom curriculum. She is passionate about her work with students and teachers and loves bringing creative and thoughtful residencies to all. 

    Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Part 1

    Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Part 2

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 - Part 3

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Part 4

    Where Literacy Begins: A 4-part Series Specifically Designed for DC's Infant and Toddler Teachers

    Part 1: “Baby Basics”

    Review developmental milestones and learn appropriate ways to use books and educational activities to build communication, relationships and motor skills of babies and toddlers.

    Part 2: “Baby Music”

    Learn ways to integrate singing and rhythm into your classroom’s daily routine. Making music together is a fun and effective way to build infant and toddler’s early learning.

    Part 3: “Building Language”

    Helping babies learn to communicate through language is a crucial step in their development. Using several different kinds of children’s books, learn how to give young children the tools they need develop communication skills and self-expression.

    Part 4: “Baby Art”

    Using age appropriate art materials, learn ways to help infants and toddlers explore their creativity while developing their imaginations and fine motor skills.

    FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017 - PART 1

    FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 - PART 2

    Successful Storytelling: Using Drama in the Early Childhood Classroom

    Teaching Artist: Lenore Blank Kelner

    Story Can Theatre is a successful, theatrical technique used to tell a story to children.  The story is re-enacted through miniatures and toys that come out of a Story Can. When children actively participate in storytelling they can more easily make predictions, inferences, sequence and retell the story.  In this workshop, you will learn how to: 1) Use Story Can Theatre to present a book 2) become a storyteller by changing voice tone and facial expressions to match the characters 3)make a Story Can Theatre bucket to take back  to your classroom

    Story Can Theatre is a fun and effective way to engage your students. This technique will change the way you present books in your classroom!  

    Participants receive FREE materials to create their own Story Can Theater.


    Lenore Blank Kelner is an author, educator, educational consultant, keynote speaker and teaching and theatre artist. She is presently working with the Maryland State Department of Education serving as an Arts Education Consultant for Early Childhood. 

    Lenore has presented her work in all 50 states and abroad. She has been a presenter with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for 35 years and was a Master Artist for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts for 25 years. Lenore is the author of The Creative Classroom and co-authored with Rosalind Flynn, A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension (Heinemann, 2006).  Lenore was awarded the 2004 Creative Drama Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.



    Getting Inside Story: Drama as a Tool for Early Childhood Language Development

    The Art of Recycling: Explore Early Childhood Science Concepts Using Visual Arts

    Diversity in the Early Childhood Classroom: Exploring World Cultures with Music

    A-GO! A-MAY! : Use African Songs, Dance and Drumming to Teach Early Childhood

    Literacy and Math

    Sense of Wonder: Using music and movement to explore nature in the early childhood classroom.

     Adventures in Science: Using imagination to explore early childhood science concepts.

    Moving Through Math Series: Exploring early childhood math concepts with music, movement and the imagination.  Specific topics include:  one-to –one correspondence, counting, spatial relationships, positional language, patterns, sequencing, symbols, shapes.

    Sing and Dance a Story: Using music and dance to promote early childhood literacy.

    Children’s Books- The Musical! Transforming children’s books into a musical experience.

    The Beat Goes On: Rhythm and rhyming for infants and toddlers.

    Jumping of the Page: Storytelling and literacy for early learners.

    Rhythm, Rhyme and Repetition: The 3 Rs of Black Storytelling.

    Singing Social Skills: Use music to promote social-emotional development.

    Big Brains, Little Bodies: The science of early learners.

    Creating Caring Classrooms through Relationship and Environment

    Friends, Friends 123: Develops social-emotional teaching strategies that support friendship skills and emotional literacy.

    Baby Basics: Connecting children’s books and educational activities to babies and toddlers.

    Building Family & Community Relationships

    Language Development and Vocabulary Acquisition for toddlers and pre-k students