NKOTB: FasTracKids/Enopi

NKOTB, for those not of a certain age, stands for “New Kids on the Block”….

“He rocked my world,” says Ilysa Winick of her son, Benjamin, being born almost a year ago. “I needed balance, and I wasn’t going to get it working on Wall Street.” So she decided to launch a business, FasTracKids/Enopi, on Reade Street, where she also lives. “I’m able to be in the community and in Benjamin’s life,” she says.

The space, which I believe used to be home to Times 3, manages to evoke old Tribeca (with a high ceiling, exposed brick walls—including inset arches—and the original floors) while also coming off as cool and fun (thanks to one of the two classrooms being cone-shaped).

Winick “stumbled upon” FasTracKids, a franchised business that originated in Denver, via a friend who teaches at Fieldston School: “She was blown away by students who participated in it.” And the fact that the results are quantifiable appealed to Winick. According to the literature, teachers use LCD projectors and interactive white boards to inspire kids to “think productively while simultaneously developing their speaking, communication, and leadership skills.” Says Winick, “As a Wall Street person, I know what it takes to be successful. And soft skills are so important. I always thought people either had it or they didn’t, and I wondered if I could teach my son. Well, this is it in a bottle.” FasTracKids will be available for children ages 2 to 8.

Enopi, meanwhile, is a South Korean program for kids 3 to 14 that teaches critical thinking as it relates to math and English; it incorporates games, puzzles, mazes. “It’s the application of math to life,” says Winick. “And for the English classes, it goes from letter recognition and sounding out words up to writing five-paragraph essays.” As with FasTracKids, there will be no more than 12 students per class.

Finally, FasTracKids/Enopi will share space with Little Director, which teaches kids—over a one-month period—to put together a movie from their own artwork, from drawing to storyboarding to doing a voiceover. The founder/instructor is Royi Akavia, an artist who apprenticed under Salvador Dalí.

FasTracKids/Enopi is holding an open house today through Saturday; summer sessions start June 21.

FasTracKids/Enopi and Little Director are at 104 Reade (between Church and West Broadway); 646-450-3823 (FasTracKids/Enopi), 786-306-5323 (Little Director), manhattanenrichment.com, littledirector.com.

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  1. Sounds like an amazing addition to Tribeca’s family-oriented community. I will definitely spread the word.

  2. My neices attended the Fastrackids in Westchester and loved it. It was so enriching and completely different from their everyday schooling. I know Fastrackids in Tribeca will be a huge success.

  3. These programs are outstanding! After reading reviews it is my understanding that the FasTracKids/Enopi programs have proven to be nearly twice as effective as conventional schooling alone! I cannot wait to see the center in person on Saturday!

  4. What exactly does “twice as effective as conventional schooling” mean? I wish Winick the best of luck, but frankly I could not imagine sending my 2 year old to a school to “think productively.”

  5. As the director of another FasTracKids, I can vouch for both FasTracKids and E.nopi and the results they deliver. Thinking productively as a two year old is not the main goal of either program… both programs are meant to establish the foundations for later success in school and in life – as early as age 2.

    “Independent testing by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) demonstrates that a significant number of three to six year old children enrolled in FasTracKids® improved their vocabulary and social skills at a rate 100% to 150% times faster than their peers not enrolled in the program. All children in the study improved. Children who were kindergarten-aged advanced as much as one grade level and some of those students improved up to two grade levels.” -fastrackids.com

  6. This looks amazing. As a resident of tribeca, I look forward to signing my children up. We needed this!