New Kid on the Block: Book Nook Enrichment

First, a note: The new Book Nook Enrichment on Warren is adorable, and yet my camera struggled with the lighting (which is attractive in person). Please don’t hold the camera’s inadequacies against Book Nook!

An elementary and early childhood teacher for over 16 years, Rina Collins missed being in the classroom after becoming a preschool director. She began tutoring, offering a little of everything: Gifted and Talented, test prep, reading, handwriting, and so on. “I realized reading could serve as a foundation for learning,” she said. “I could make a curriculum that blends everything.”

In 2012, she and her husband, Andy, opened Book Nook Enrichment on the Upper West Side. And now they’ve expanded to Tribeca, with an 1,800-square-foot outpost on the lower level of 23 Warren. (If you’ve never been down there, as I hadn’t, you might be surprised how pleasant it is.) Originally, Book Nook was for kids from 18 months to 7 years, but it has since been expanded to include a mommy-and-me program for 6-17 months and book clubs for ages 8 to 12 years. And the Tribeca location has 2,000 books—double the number uptown.

Rina describes Book Nook as a “hybrid preschool and tutoring center,” but there’s nothing institutional about it—instead, it has a residential/storybook feel. In front is the Living Room (where parents are encouraged to pass the time), leading to the Learning Lounge, which hosts the mommy-and-me classes and can be converted into a classroom. In the rear are two cute classrooms that resemble cottages.

The main focus is the school-year program, one day per week from September to June: “It’s literacy enrichment involving every aspect of reading: imagination, creativity, handwriting,” says Rina. “It’s a classroom experience with five or six kids, and all curriculum is written in house.” The book clubs are more independent: Kids can help pick the books and contribute questions, with teachers to guide the discussion. The clubs have been a popular way for kids to see friends who now attend different schools.

In summer, Book Nook offers a full-day camp for three days each week. (“It’s Tuesday through Thursday, because many of our families are often away on Friday and Monday,” says Rina.) Private tutoring is available year-round, and the space can be used on weekends for birthday parties. “We rent the space—there’s even a kitchen—and they do what they want,” says Andy. “We’re around if you’d like us to be involved.”

Stop by and check it out for yourself: On September 10 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Book Nook is having a big event with activities for parents and kids to do together, book giveaways, and more. It’s free, but RSVPs are encouraged—keep an eye on the website for details.

Book Nook Enrichment is at 23 Warren (between Church and Broadway), 646-649-5917;

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