top of page

The Program:

REACH is a program of the Chattanooga Autism Center that provides children with a safe and structured summer learning environment where individual goals are strengthened and maintained through a highly qualified teaching staff and low student to teacher ratios.

The staff utilize the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to maximize learning across social, emotional, academic, adaptive, and daily living skills with a focus on communication and independence. We develop a rich program of differentiated instruction in an inclusive learning environment. The program is in session for six weeks during the summer and operated three (3) days/week (Tuesday-Thursday) from 9:00am-2:30pm. The program accepts children ages 5-15 who have an IEP or 504 plan as well as typically developing children who would benefit from a structured and intensive learning environment. Research has consistently shown that children of all abilities benefit from inclusion.

If you are interested in your child attending REACH, please download, print, and complete this application. All completed applications should be turned into the Chattanooga Autism Center. A committee will review all applications and notify you of your acceptance by March 31st. We are asking families not to submit any money until you have been notified of your acceptance.

**After March 31st, you may submit an application to be kept on file in case a spot becomes available.

2018 REACH Dates:

June 12, 13, 14             July 10, 11, 12

June 19, 20, 21             July 17, 18, 19

June 26, 27, 28             July 24, 25, 26

**We will not meet the week of July 4th


The total cost of the six-week program is $795/child. A deposit of $75 /child will be required to hold your spot once acceptance into the program has been communicated. The remaining balance will be collected during the required parent-teacher conference in May. Tuition assistance may be available through The Family Support Program at the link below.

Funding Available:

The Family Support Program is a state-run program that provides funding to parents who have kids with severe disabilities and who meet other income criteria. Some REACH applicants have successfully received Family Support grants that pay the entire tuition for REACH. To see if you qualify, contact Kirsti Tankersley at Orange Grove 423.664.5120 or visit this website for Family Support Program information and to download the application.

History of REACH:

REACH was created by two moms of kids with autism, Melissa Post and Stacey Porter, who wanted a summer program for students who both seek and thrive in an educational routine and classroom schedules. They also wanted them to continue improving and working on their IEP goals during the summer months. Melissa and Stacey were sure to collect IEP progress data, and they found that students in REACH not only do not regress on their IEP goals… they showed progress. Melissa and Stacey turned over the reigns to Marie Johnson, another dedicated parent, who took over the coordinator role for two years. 

REACH is now coordinated by Cory Cannady. Cory is a full-time middle school teacher and has a Masters in Applied Behavioral Analysis. He has a passion for seeing students learn and meet their individual goals as well as making sure each student is given the appropriate level of support, while also having a great summer. Please contact him at if you have any questions.

bottom of page