ICEI recognizes the importance of the Ethiopian parents as active participants in their children’s education in order to raise academic achievements. Often Ethiopian parents are not fluent in Hebrew and some are illiterate even in their native language. Therefore most Ethiopian-Israeli children do not have books at home, and their parents do not or cannot read to them. Cultural differences, limited Hebrew, as well as a lack of knowledge about the educational system often hinder their becoming involved in the school.
ICEI provides each school with a full-time Ethiopian Community Liaison who reaches out to parents and engages them to support their children’s learning. The Community Liaison at each school is in regular contact with Ethiopian-Israeli parents, reporting on their children’s progress in school and guiding them in how to promote reading at home. Parents are encouraged to join parents’ committees and take a leadership role in their schools, to attend parents’ assemblies and to advocate for their children’s needs within the school.
Community Liaisons reach out to parents to encourage them to take an active role in their children’s education.
ICEI also celebrates Ethiopian Jewish culture for all students with school-wide activities. Liaisons work to raise teachers’ knowledge of Ethiopian culture and to relate to it as a source of pride for Ethiopian-Israeli children. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in celebration and marking of Ethiopian Jewish holidays in the schools.
Today more than1,000 Ethiopian-Israeli families benefit from ICEI’s intensive parent empowerment and community outreach program.