Marty's Center opens new building for hearing-impaired pre-schoolers
One of the Tennessee Valley's most specialized schools finally has its own home. Marty's Center is designed for children with hearing-impairments, cochlear implants, and speech/language impairment. Now there's plenty of space, and room to grow.
Marty Dunagan is part of one of the longest-running educational teams in the nation. She and her teammate, Tena Chandler have spent 35 years together, devoting their lives and careers to helping children with hearing loss. Their new home, Marty's Center at 4519 Brainerd Road, allows them to help more children than ever before.
Marty's Center is described as a comprehensive inclusive program with regular education children who help influence the speech patterns of the hearing-impaired children.
Marty overcame her own hearing loss to become a UT Vol majorette, Miss Chattanooga, and Miss Tennessee. Her award-winning program was formerly housed in the county Speech and Hearing Center, and Brainerd United Methodist Church. It was always her dream to have a building of her own, for the kids she calls her babies.
She said, "Our long term goal is to get them ready for school, and get them ready for first grade by the time they leave here."
The new facility offers more classroom space and better technology that allows the teachers' voices to be amplified. The hearing-impaired students are speaking more clearly and learning sign language.
A fundraiser is planned for September 27th so that Marty's Center can continue and grow its mission. Two generations of grateful parents sing the program's praises and are working to help Marty and Tena acquire the basics they need to keep making miracles happen.
Marty said, "We still need more furniture, computers, and technology to accommodate more children."
On Friday, September 13th, you can attend an open house at Marty's Center, at that new location, 4519 Brainerd Road. You can stop by and take a tour from 3 until 6 p.m. For more information on Marty's Center, along with details on the upcoming Mingle for Miracles dinner and auction, click here: https://www.martyscenter.com/