One of the most important elements in ICEI’s program is the accessibility it offers students to books. Because Israeli classrooms are devoid of books, ICEI equips each classroom in the program with its own in-class library. Each library consists of 600 to 1,000 books that are clearly displayed according to reading level.
Students are given set times to "shop" for new books to read. Each child chooses books according to his or her interest, at a “just right” reading level. Children are regularly assessed and are encouraged to advance to the next reading level as soon as they are ready. ICEI also provides special furniture to display books and support its instructional model.
Because Israeli classrooms are devoid of books, ICEI equips each classroom with its own library.
Students read independently in class every day for half an hour. They also take books home, and are encouraged to read at home every day.
Through the “Pajama Library,” a collaborative effort with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, every month ICEI first graders and their parents receive a new book to take home that transmits Jewish values and culture. Homeroom teachers offer parents tips on how to be involved in their children's reading lives even if they themselves are illiterate. In many cases these are the first books these children own and may be the only books in the household. They form the basis of the children's home libraries, reinforcing the love of reading and books.