By Mary Kate Sheppard, Staff Writer—
In a city so community driven, a host of organizations have sprung up that go above and beyond to provide support and help for those who need it, and Signal Centers are no different.
What began as a modest group of mothers and nine children in 1957 Chattanooga has grown into an organization that helps nearly 200 children and hundreds of adults. Signal Centers are founded on the core values of respect, integrity, teamwork, innovation, and stewardship.
Now, Signal Centers has eight programs that help support locals in the Chattanooga area.
Some of the programs include Assisted Technology Services that helps people with disabilities navigate a technological world, Baby University that helps expecting mothers and children achieve lifelong success, and WAGE$ which helps early childhood education teachers going to school.
These programs, along with their many others, are what make Signal Centers so special.
S.C. also has a very productive and successful early childhood education program that includes nearly one hundred students on their campus.
“It’s not daycare; it’s early education,” Signal Centers representative Christy Murphy said. “We know that children’s brains grow the most between six months and five years, so we created a classroom environment for kids to grow.”
Murphy also noted that the classroom environment was all inclusive.
“You’ll find children with disabilities right alongside those without disabilities, playing the same,” she said. “It teaches the children with disabilities how to be successful in life as well as show the kids without disabilities that there isn’t a major difference between them.”
Signal Centers also focuses on helping kids at home by providing them with physical and speech therapy. Their purpose in childhood education is to help children grow and be successful along with providing children with disabilities the tools to live a happy, purposeful life.
Signal Centers also helps and supports adults in Chattanooga, including those who are homeless.
According to their website, Signal Centers provide support to homeless individuals while also taking steps to reduce homelessness more generally.
“We are luckily the backbone for counseling of homelessness,” said Murphy, “We do a lot and are trying hard to help the homeless community of Chattanooga.”
None of these tasks are completed without the help of the community around them. Volunteers are critical in Signal Centers. From painting renovations, to cleaning the campus, to interacting with the kids on the playground, volunteering is a good way to help the Chattanooga community.
While they are not allowing volunteers now due to the ongoing pandemic, Murphy and those at Signal Centers are hopeful that they will be able to open their doors more in the future and accept volunteers once again.
“Signal Centers is so important for so many reasons, I can’t just pick one,” Murphy said. “Everything we do is vital to the Chattanooga community, so the most important thing to us is what you need and how to help those less fortunate.”