Inner City Inner Child

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.

For more information, visit their website.


Inner City-Inner Child’s over-arching objective is to close the formidable achievement gap that affects early learners in DC’s most underserved communities by using the arts to:

  • (1) improve the literacy, math, science, arts/creativity, social-emotional, and physical development skills of the children we serve; and
  • (2) improve the professional skills of the teachers we serve.

Description of Education Initiatives: We pursue our mission using an arts integration approach and a three-pronged strategy that includes: (1) classroom residencies for children and teachers, (2) professional development workshops for teachers, and (3) a family literacy program.
We implement our strategy through three core programs (listed below).

  • Dancing With Books (classroom residencies for children and teachers)- Dancing With Books is a classroom residency program for children ages 0 to 5 that models for teachers innovative ways to teach children literacy, math/science, social-emotional, arts/creativity, and physical development skills. The residency—which consists of arts-focused literacy activities (including music, drumming, movement, meaningful gestures, and visual arts) centered on a core group of picture books—provides a high quality learning experience for children while simultaneously providing professional development for teachers.
  • Naptime U. (professional development workshops for teachers)- Naptime U. is a professional development workshop program, based in DC’s Anacostia community, that provides early childhood teachers with quality, affordable continuing education. The majority of the workshops take place during children’s naptime so that teachers can attend—hence the nickname, “Naptime U.” ICIC also provides on-site, full staff professional development days to early childhood programs that serve DC’s low-income communities.
  • Read With Me (family literacy program)- Our Read With Me family literacy workshops help low-income parents become actively involved in their children’s literacy and early learning by modeling for them how to use music, movement, meaningful gestures, and visual arts to create learning experiences at home.

Partnership with DC Collaborative

DC Collaborative Member since 2016.

"The DC Collaborative helps us achieve our mission by elevating the importance of the arts in DC’s education community, creating a supportive network of organizations and institutions that support arts education, and linking us with vital resources and community members that help us expand and deepen our impact."

Fun Fact! Inner City-Inner Child is the education program of Dumbarton Concerts, which just celebrated its 40th Anniversary!

Contact Inner City Inner Child: Evan Cannon-, Ingrid Zimmer-

Twitter Updates


Mailing: 975 F Street, NW
Location: 923 F Street, NW, #303
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202.470.6467

The DC Collaborative is a FY19 Service Organization grant recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The DC Collaborative is proud to receive a grant for its Collective Impact work supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.