Contact Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island
Decoding Dyslexia – RI is a grassroots parent movement driven by RI families concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within our public schools. We founded the Rhode Island branch of Decoding Dyslexia in March 2014. We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, share resources, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in RI public schools.
Meet the DDRI Board
Suzanne Arena Co-President and Founder of DDRI
As a parent and long time advocate for children with special needs, Suzanne Arena is uniquely qualified to act as a Parent Advocate. Her true passion is helping families who struggle to support the needs of their children. She started the Rhode chapter of Decoding Dyslexia (DDRI) at the end of 2014. She has successfully advocated on behalf of children at their IEP/504 meetings, along with empowering hundreds of families to advocate on behalf of their own children. She was an unpaid lobbyist from 2015-2016, and utilized her strong communication and mediation skills. She also co-founded another advocacy organization and got them off the ground, but chose to continue exclusively working with DDRI. Suzanne has attended dozens of conferences, 11 seminars and trainings as they relate to special education, with emphasis on Dyslexia (At-risk readers/Math), ADHD and other learning challenges. Several awards of recognition have been acquired over the years such as Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award; Dedicated Service to Education from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Certificate of Recognition for Education Achievement from then State Treasurer Gina Raimondo. In addition, she has worked as a community organizer with dedicated activism that has established a process in areas of need.
Shannon Saglio Co-President
Shannon is currently a Technology Instructional Coach for a public school in Connecticut and a mother of a dyslexic child in Rhode Island. She has spent almost twenty years in education including roles as a High School Social Studies Teacher, District Curriculum Council Co-Chair, Curriculum Interventionist, Administrator of the Club REACH Intervention Program and a leader on the Westerly Special Education Local Advisory Committee. She received her M.A.T. in Education from Johns Hopkins University and recognizes the importance of bridging the gap between research and practice. Shannon is committed to educational equity and trying to foster stronger relationships between parents and educators to ensure all students have the ability to succeed. She is also the web-page manger for Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island.
Lise Moloney Director of Communications
Lise is an engineering consultant and the mother of a 7th grader with dyslexia. She is a researcher by training and dove right into the reading research to educate herself and others about dyslexia, special education laws and how best to teach our students with dyslexia. In addition to her responsibilities with Decoding Dyslexia RI, Lise is also on the board of the Newport County Regional Special Education Local Advisory Committee and the Middletown Prevention Coalition. She is passionate about educating others about dyslexia and advocating for systemic change so reading is no longer a privilege and all children learn to read through a free and appropriate public education.
Kari Kurto Educational Advisor
Kari is currently a Literacy Educational Specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Edcuation. She was a Remedial Language specialist at Middlebridge school and the Vice President of Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island. She began her teaching career at Rawson Saunders School, a private school for students with dyslexia in Austin, Texas. She is currently an Orton Gillingham practitioner at Middlebridge School certified through the Academy if Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, and the International Dyslexia Association. She has worked alongside members of the Rhode Island House and Senate, and has collaborated with the Rhode Island Department of Education, and Rhode Island College to discuss how to incorporate strategies in Rhode Island schools to better support students with dyslexia and other struggling readers.