Professional Development Institute: Trauma Informed Learning

Professional Development Institute: Unpacking a Safe Space

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative invite you to participate in a Professional Development Institute "Unpacking a Safe Space." Ensuring students are developing their socio-emotional quotients is a necessary precursor to building a solid foundation for academic success. Join teaching artists as they share practices for the creation of  physically and emotionally safe spaces through trauma-informed processes - spaces, where risk-taking is encouraged and student voice and agency are promoted.

Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Location: Friendship Collegiate Academy, 4095 Minnesota Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Reserve your space here!

Educators will receive a certificate of participation for 5.5 contact hours for recertification.


9:00 a.m. — Light Breakfast and Registration 
9:30 a.m. — Welcome, Opening Activity
10:30 a.m. — Morning Workshop Breakout Sessions
12:05 p.m. — Lunch
1:10 p.m. — Afternoon Workshop Breakout Sessions
2:45 p.m. — Group Activity
3:10 p.m. — Next Steps, Surveys, Raffles and Certificates


Reginald Cabico (Spoken Word Artist and Poet), Inner City Inner ChildLife Pieces to Master Pieces, One Common Unity, Project Create, Krystle Seit (Teaching Artist), Young Playwrights' Theater, DCPS Arts ACE Fellows 

Session Descriptions

Workshop A, 6th-12th grades

Presented by Regie Cabico
We will use improvisation and connect as an ensemble through mirrored movements, exploring secrets in a safe and nurturing environment, we will share our memories in “story nuggets” or “story-haiku”, empowering our fiercest selves through the spoken word. We will write our personal stories and create a timeline of our "up against the wall" moments and victories. We will address the performance of our poems and how we can make the classroom safe for the young poet to bring their true colors on the stage.

Workshop B, 3rd-5th grades

"Trauma Informed Care"
Presented by Young Playwrights' Theatre

Young Playwrights' Theater is presenting a workshop on trauma informed care. More information will be coming soon!

Workshop C, K-2nd grades

“Creating a Safe, Positive Classroom Community & Ensemble Using Theatre-Based Techniques”
Presented by Krystle Seit

All children have big lives, and emotions, both in and out of the classroom. As elementary and arts educators, we can support students’ socio-emotional learning by building a safe space for students dealing with trauma. Creating a sense of community and ensemble in the classroom helps promote peer engagement and relationship skills which contribute to a student's overall well-being and academic success. This interactive workshop will explore theatre-based techniques, tools, and creative solutions that can be used in the elementary school classroom to help all students feel included, especially when they may be dealing with fears or challenges.

Workshop D, Early Childhood 

“Young HeARTS: Using the Arts to Promote Social-Emotional Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom”
Presented by Inner City Inner Child

Children need to feel safe, happy, and engaged in order to learn. A child’s experience in their early childhood classroom can set the tone for how they feel about school for the rest of their lives. Developing social-emotional skills in our early years are crucial for effective learning throughout our lives. Participants will learn how singing, dancing, creating, and collaborating integrate into ECE classrooms to promote self-regulation, self-confidence, social-empathy, communication, perspective taking, and understanding. Well-loved children’s books will provide the springboard for arts infused activities that can be implemented in your classroom immediately. No singing or dancing expertise necessary. Come with an open mind, an open heart, and a desire to have fun!

Workshop E, 6th-12th grades

“Trauma Informed Practices”
Presented by One Common Unity

Participants learn about the diversity and range of adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) and the impacts that these experiences have on young people in regards to their behavior. The training provides the participant with tools to create a safe space that recognizes the effects of trauma.

Workshop F, 3rd-5th grades

“Color Me Community: Unveiling Innate Creative Abilities within Self, as Educator & Learner and Student as Educator & Learner”
Presented by Life Pieces to Masterpieces

Life Pieces To Masterpieces’  Color Me Community creates an intentional space that stimulates introspection, connection to self,  connection to student and  unearths, innate creative abilities that can contribute to advancing a collective mission (developing socio-emotional quotients in 3rd to 5th graders). 

Goals and Objectives:
Goal 1: Educators will gain heightened understanding of who they are within the context of 
Catalysts in stimulating social emotional development within 3rd to 5th grade learners. 
Objective 1: Over 50% of the participants will be able to articulate how others view them, how they view themselves and how this realization of their unique identity connects to their work as educators.

Goal 2: Educators will identify tools that will facilitate the fulfillment of stimulating social emotional growth within 3rd to 5th graders.
Objective 2: Over 50% of the participants will be able to name at least one tool experienced in the workshop that can be used in the fulfillment of their scope of work as Educators.

Goal 3: Educators will identify action items that will enhance their connection to their students.
Objective 3: Over 50% of the participants will identify one action item that will strengthen their capacity to be mindful in life.

Workshop G, K-2 grades

“Looking Within: Creative Explorations of Emotional Safety”
Presented by Project Create

Using the visual arts as a medium, this workshop examines how K-2 educators can use creative expression in the classroom to cultivate an emotionally safe environment. The workshop aims to address the following essential questions:

  • What does it mean to feel safe?
  • What are the key qualities of a trauma-informed classroom?

In this workshop, participants will be encouraged to look within and examine personal associations with the concept of safety. Participants will also be given the opportunity to share their best practices and, together, provide practical tips for establishing a trauma-informed classroom culture.

Workshop H, Early Childhood

“Developing a Trauma Sensitive Practice through art, materials, and making”
Presented by DCPS Arts ACE Fellows

This workshop will introduce ACEs  (Adverse Childhood Experiences) that affect 1 in 4 children in order to develop strategies to use art, materials, and spaces to develop a trauma-sensitive practice in your classroom or educational setting. Through hands on creating, conversation, and thinking routines we will together open up new possibilities of nurturing and healing in our educational context.










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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.