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10/19/2021 Valverde, Caldwell join students, advocates to light the State House red for dyslexia awareness
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Bridget Valverde and Rep. Justine Caldwell were joined by Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island and students from the Hamilton School at Wheeler in Providence Friday to light the State House dome red to mark World Dyslexia Awareness Month.

The State House dome will be illuminated in red through Oct. 21 in recognition of all those who learn differently and the families and teachers who support them. The lighting was spearheaded by a local parent of child at the Hamilton School.

“We are very grateful to the students at the Hamilton School and Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island for their work to raise awareness about dyslexia and advocate on behalf of dyslexic children. By raising awareness, we are combatting stigma, educating people about different ways of learning, and celebrating neurodiversity. It is so important that children have their learning differences identified, respected and attended to with evidence-based literacy instruction. I’m happy to say that we continue to make progress here in Rhode Island due to the Right to Read Act, which we passed in 2019.  RIDE is now carrying out that legislation’s mandate to require and improve educator training in structured literacy and the science of reading across the state,” said Senator Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, South Kingstown).

Said Representative Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich), “Despite being quite common, dyslexia is often misunderstood. While schools are far better equipped today to help students with dyslexia, until fairly recently it was often very difficult for students with it to get the resources they needed to support their learning. By lighting the dome and talking about dyslexia today, we hope to spread better understanding that many, many people learn differently, and that we all should be supportive of those who experience learning differences.”

Senator Valverde presented Parker Goldman, her constituent and a student at the Hamilton School, with a Senate citation for being the catalyst for the dome lighting and the evening’s gathering after reaching out to her for assistance.

Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, dyslexia is the most common neuro-cognitive disorder, affecting 20 percent of the population.

To learn more about dyslexia, visit Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island’s website at For information about free screenings, professional development and other area resources, visit The Hamilton Institute at

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903