“Since 2004, I have had the good fortune to work with an exceptional group of teachers at Buckle My Shoe.  I have witnessed their intelligent adaptation of Reggio inspired education to fit the New York context of linguistic and cultural diversity.

By focusing on the talents, idioms, and interests that each child brings to the mix, the teachers at Buckle My Shoe demonstrate a deep understanding of how children think and how to help children reflect on their assumptions to repair their theories rather than learn pat facts.

These teachers have developed an observational and interpretive prowess that allows them to effectively support the deeper ideas and concepts underlying the ordinary moments in a child’s day.  This high level of professionalism requires as much time for the children as with the children.  I offer my compliments to Buckle My Shoe for supporting the continuous professional development of the teaching staff.”

George E. Forman, Ph. D

Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Linda Ensko

Founder and Executive Director, M. Ed., Bank Street

Diane Olt-Ovadek

Educational Director, M. Ed., Hunter College

Erica Tricarico

Director 13th Street, MS. Ed., Bank Street

Emily Davis

Director of Admissions


Linda Ensko, Founder and Executive Director of Buckle My Shoe, a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool in NYCDiane Olt-Ovadek, Educational Director Buckle My ShoeErica Tricarico, Director of Buckle My Shoe 13th Street

“A program has intellectual vitality if the teacher’s individual and group interactions are mainly about what the children are learning, planning, and thinking about, plus their interest in each other, and only minimally about the rules and routines.”

Lilian G. Katz

All of the teachers and staff at Buckle My Shoe participate in regular continuing education and staff development.  We are fortunate to have long—standing relationships with George Forman and Sonya Shoptaugh, representatives of the Reggio Emilia approach in the United States, as well as Jean Schreiber, a renowned authority on the importance of block building in education.

In addition to twice yearly Staff Development days, the teachers in each classroom hold weekly curriculum meetings to reflect on the previous week’s activities and to develop the course of the week to follow.  We regularly participate in workshops and meetings, and frequently are hosts to groups from other schools wanting to learn more about our program.

Linda with Iceland group

Linda Ensko speaking to a group of educators visiting from Iceland

Emily Davis, Director of Admissions Buckle My Shoe