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.


Current Workshops

Space is limited for all workshops.

Part 1: Thursday, February 14, 2019, and Part 2: Thursday, February 21, 2019

*Registration Has Officially Closed*

“One Love: Promoting Social-Emotional Learning through African Songs, Dance, and Drumming”

Location: Project Create Studios 2208 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE Washington, DC 20020

On Valentine’s Day, join Inner City-Inner Child, the education program of Dumbarton Concerts, to discover new ways you can encourage love, peace, and harmony in your early childhood classroom.  Singing, dancing, creating, and collaborating encourage social-emotional development necessary for effective learning throughout our lives.  In this workshop, early childhood educators will learn ways to use movement, music, and rhythm to teach social-emotional skills.  Multi-cultural books will provide the springboard for arts-infused activities that promote communication, perspective taking, empathy, and understanding.  Participants will use their newly acquired knowledge to create activities they can immediately implement in their classrooms. 


No singing or dancing expertise necessary.  Come with an open mind, an open heart, and a desire to have fun! 

FREE admission!  Lunch will be provided!  Receive books to take back to your classroom! 


This two-part workshop will continue on Thursday, February 21, 2019.  Receive 4 OSSE clock hours for attending both part 1 and part 2. 


Dates and Times:

Part 1: Thursday February 14, 2019, 12:00pm – 2:30pm

Part 2: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 12:00pm – 2:30pm

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Sylvia, an ICIC Teaching Artist  since 1995, 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 Concoran Gallery of Art and The Washington Ballet at the Arc. Ms. Soumah studied Modern Dance and Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati.


Abdou started playing the Djembe when he was 3 years old. He has received extensive training from Songa of the Valley, David Rock, Ezibu Muntu, Melvin Deal, Papa Aziz, and his godfather and whom is he name after, Abdou Kounta. Abdou’s family moved to Richmond, VA and he joined Ezibu Muntu. He became the lead drummer for Ezibu Muntu 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 has performed with African Heritage, Coyaba Dance Theater, Soul In Motion, KanKouran, Elegba Folklore Society, Ezibu Muntu, Green Beats, The Washington Ballet, Dance Place, Step Afrika, and many more. Abdou has also performed for Fela!, the Broadway play in DC, the National Slave Ground Anniversary in Richmond, VA, the Nigerian Embassy Celebration, the NACA Conference, and at the National Cathedral School.

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 12;00pm to 2:30pm

Preventing the Preschool to Prison Pipeline with Arts Integration

Guest Speaker: Dr. Bweikia Steen

Location: Matthews Memorial Baptist Church 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20020

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!  

The learning objectives are:

  1. Participants will examine and discuss related research about the preschool to prison pipeline

  2. Participants will analyze the role arts integration plays in helping to narrow the academic achievement gap and promote social, emotional development.

Participants will obtain relevant strategies about ways to integrate the arts into the early childhood curriculum.

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Bweikia Steen is an Associate Professor of Education at George Mason University.  She has taught at Trinity Washington University as an Associate professor and as the director of the early childhood programs, and at NYU in the early childhood program. Dr. Steen received her doctorate from the University of San Francisco in International and Multicultural education. Her research deals with promoting social-emotional and academic excellence among children of color and children of poverty during the early years.

thursday, october 4th, 2018
12-2:30 PM

Thursday, october 11th, 2018
12-2:30 PM

Sing To Your Baby: Combining Music and Play to Develop Social and Cognitive Skills

Teaching Artists: Cathy & Marcy

Location: Matthews Memorial Baptist Church 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20020

There are scientifically proven advantages to using music and singing to promote pre-literacy skills and social and cognitive development in infants and toddlers.  GRAMMY® Award winners and family music icons, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, offer an experiential workshop demonstrating ways singing and music promote early childhood development. Singing is a type of play and play is the best way for infants and toddlers learn. The workshop includes information on how a baby or a toddler might respond to songs at different age groups: 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 1-3 years.

Learn easy songs while connecting them to major physical, cognitive and linguistic milestones; sitting, crawling, walking, babbling, responding to name, first words, stringing words, object permanence and separation anxiety, and learn how to “sing-play” differently once those milestones are achieved.

Participants receive SING TO YOUR BABY®, a book/CD collection of songs used for soothing, bonding, rocking, holding, strolling, playing with infants and toddlers.

Part 1: You'll start with the simplest, naturally made sounds - vocalizing with spoken word in rhythm, humming and singing la-la-la. Then we'll add words with very simple melodies. You'll sing along with simple songs from the CD so you have a "backing track" and lead singer help you feel supported as you sing. We'll practice together while you learn about the philosophy and simple concepts behind “sing-play.”

Part 2: In our second session, we will build on skills learned from Part 1. We will add sign language to some songs and experiment with creating new verses to existing songs. We will also add simple rhythm instruments and sounds that keep a child interested. We will practice “leading” songs, discuss challenges and work with them to build confidence in using the songs and skills.


Cathy and Marcy are trailblazers in children’s and family music. Their relationship with family audiences spans over 25 years of live performances and 20 award winning recordings.  They play dozens of instruments from banjo to mandolin to rockin’ electric guitar, steel drum and ukulele.

Over 5,000 shows in performing arts centers, schools, folk festivals, community centers, libraries and children’s festivals have given Cathy & Marcy the superb skills to deliver a show that is fun, wacky, energetic, and participatory and that also brings meaning to their song, “It’s Better When We Sing It Together.”  Cathy & Marcy inspire effortless participation from every audience.

GRAMMY® Awards (and 14 nominations), Parents’ Choice Awards, American Library Association Awards, National Association of Parenting Publications Awards, Early Childhood News Awards and Washington Area Music Association Awards all attest to the superb quality of their body of work.

Cathy & Marcy have entertained the Queen of Thailand, sung at the White House Easter Egg Roll, performed at hundreds of folk festivals, sung in Congress on behalf of the SCHIP bill (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), appeared on the “Today Show” and on National Public Radio.

Friday, October 5-Saturday, October 6, 2018 9:00 AM-4:30 PM


Washington International School presents: Children are Citizens Project Zero Conference


“Children Are Citizens: Children and Teachers Collaborating Across Washington, DC” is a professional development and curriculum project inspired by the practices of the world-renowned municipal preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It is grounded in the belief that children are not just future or hypothetical citizens, but, instead, are citizens in their own right in the here and now, with the capacity to express their opinions and participate in the civic and cultural life of their city. The project aims to connect young children with the nation’s capital in meaningful, lasting ways.

At this two-day conference, you will learn about the exciting Children Are Citizens initiative in Washington, DC, and other cities. You will learn about ways the project has come to life in diverse classrooms, experience methods through which the arts, humanities, and sciences have been integrated into the curriculum, and have the opportunity to plan for starting something similar in your own setting.

To learn more and register for the event, please follow the button below!

Innercity-Innerchild will also be offering scholarships to few teachers for this event.  If you are interested in applying for our scholarship please contact us


Saturday, September 15, 2018 9:30am-3:30pm


DC Collaborative Professional Development Institute  
on Social Emotional Learning through the Arts


In Collaboration with: Ford's Theatre, Imagination Stage, Levine Music, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, 
Center for Inspired Teaching, Inner City Inner Child, Mary Hall Surface, Arena Stage, Project Create and Split This Rock


Come join Innercity-Innerchild, in collaboration with the DC Collaborative and other cultural institutions, for a full day of workshops on the subject of social emotional development.  

The day begins with an opening activity and then breaks into sessions divided by grade level. Gary Glazner of Poetry for Life will lead an interactive talk with the entire group.

Tickets are $10 per person however, a $20 gift card, a light breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to participants. There is also an opportunity to enter raffle for prizes from our members!

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Previous Workshops and Customized Plans

Inner City-Inner Child can work with your organization to customize a plan that fits the needs of your teachers and students. You may find a previous workshop fits your criteria perfectly - let us help craft a plan that works for you! 


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

Adventures in Science: Using Imagination to Explore Early Childhood Science Concepts

Baby Basics: Connecting Children’s Books and Educational Activities to Babies and Toddlers

Big Brains, Little Bodies: The Science of Early Learners

Building Family & Community Relationships

Children’s Books - The Musical! Transforming Children’s Books into a Musical Experience

Creating Caring Classrooms through Relationship and Environment

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

Friends, Friends 123: Developing Social-Emotional Teaching Strategies that Support Friendship Skills and Emotional Literacy

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

Jumping off the Page: Storytelling and Literacy for Early Learners

Language Development and Vocabulary Acquisition for Toddlers and Pre-K Students

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, and shapes.

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

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

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

Sense of Wonder: Using Music and Movement to Explore Nature in the Early Childhood Classroom

Sing and Dance a Story: Using Music and Dance to Promote Early Childhood Literacy

Singing Social Skills: Using Music to Promote Social-Emotional Development

Successful Storytelling: Using Drama in the Early Childhood Classroom

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

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

The Beat Goes On: Rhythm and Rhyming for Infants and Toddlers

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