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      New literacy curriculum improves literacy rates in Ottumwa schools

      Literacy rates are rising for students in kindergarten through grade five in the Ottumwa School District thanks to a new literacy curriculum.

      The district recently went into a partnership with University of Northern Iowa's Reading and Literacy Jacobson Center.

      Together, they have worked diligently to increase literacy rates in the district.

      The new curriculum features Iowa core implementations and has seen impressive results and teacher enthusiasm.

      "We are seeing consistency across our district in all of our elementary schools," said Ottumwa Superintendent Davis Eidahl. "The love and passion that's being instilled in our students with reading and writing--a lot of enthusiasm coming not only out of our students to read and write, and the passion they see in that, but also from our teachers."

      Benchmarks are targeted throughout the year to ensure students reach grade level literacy.

      Recently, two teachers from Agassiz Elementary School shared some results from the curriculum to the board of education.

      95 percent of the school's students are grade level literate.