Educators in the South Slave say literacy levels have skyrocketed in the region.

Students' test scores are just shy of national level scores, a big change from what results used to be.

The South Slave Divisional Education Council started a leadership literacy initiative about five years ago, said Superintendent Curtis Brown.

He said it seems to be paying off.

"Since the 2005, 2006 (school year), less than 50 per cent of our students were achieving the Canadian norm in reading to 76 per cent now achieving the Canadian norm," Brown said.

The Canadian norm is 77 per cent.

Brown credited the success to the leadership literacy initiative the council began about five years ago.

It involved more professional development for teachers, gathering information through standardized testing and placing a literacy coach in every school.

Holly Norris, a Grade 6/7 teacher in Fort Resolution, said she can see the change in her students.

"When I employ the strategies that we have such as really looking at comprehension skills or questioning skills, I know my kids are doing a better job because their work continues to get better," she said.

Brown said they want to continue to improve test scores and he hopes 80 per cent of students pass the literacy tests.