Hawks’ new Good Neighbor Club includes first multisensory inclusion room

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The Atlanta Hawks and State Farm have opened their seventh Good Neighbor Club in metro Atlanta.The newest club is at the Coan Park Recreation Center on Woodbine Avenue.What makes this club special is that it features a multisensory inclusion space to provide a quiet area for students of different sensory needs. ."It is extremely meaningful to see this unique Good Neighbor Club at Coan Park,” Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins said.“At State Farm, being a ‘Good Neighbor’ isn’t just a slogan; it’s at the core of who we are and what we do," State Farm senior vice president Dan Krause said

KultureCity helps design club at Coan Park Recreation Center

The Atlanta Hawks and State Farm have once again partnered with KultureCity to create an inclusive space for people with sensory sensitivities.

The newest State Farm Good Neighbor Club opened Thursday at the Coan Park Recreation Center (1530 Woodbine Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30317). What makes this club special is that it features a multisensory inclusion space to provide a quiet area for students of different sensory needs. Visitors will also find a flat screen TV for gaming and movies, a video game console and iPads, mobile writing surfaces and classroom tables for homework assistance and large bean bags in a reading nook/open play area.

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The multisensory inclusion space, also known as a sensory room, is designed to be a calm space that includes sensory equipment for those who may have developmental or behavioral challenges.

“Inclusionary investments like the Good Neighbor Club have the power to reduce disparities facing members of our community with sensory needs and disabilities,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at the grand opening. “Thank you to the Atlanta Hawks, State Farm, KultureCity and other partners for combining technology and compassion to ensure all Atlanta families have the specialized assistance, resources and opportunities they need to reach their fullest potential.”

KultureCity is a leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities. According to its website, “1 in 6 individuals have a sensory need or an invisible disability. These are individuals with PTSD, autism, dementia, strokes” and other sensory sensitivities.

Also attending the club’s grand opening were Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, kids from neighboring communities, Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong, and executives with the Hawks, State Farm and KultureCity.

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“On a personal note, it is extremely meaningful to see this unique Good Neighbor Club at Coan Park,” Wilkins said. “We hope that this club becomes a highlight for Atlanta’s residents.”

This past August marked the three-year anniversary of the Hawks and State Farm teaming up for multiple community-focused initiatives. The Coan Park location is the seventh Good Neighbor Club. The other six are at William Walker Recreation Center in Atlanta, Lucky Shoals Park in Gwinnett, Lynwood Park in Brookhaven, Bessie Branham in Decatur, Ron Anderson Recreation Center in Cobb County and Welcome All Park in South Fulton.

The two organizations have also collaborated on efforts to fight food insecurity locally, such as providing free pop-up grocery stores, in partnership with Goodr Inc., for senior citizens and underserved residents in metro Atlanta during the pandemic. They also expanded the Snack Pack Program, which served more than 24,000 snack packs to kids during the school year and summer break.

“At State Farm, being a ‘Good Neighbor’ isn’t just a slogan; it’s at the core of who we are and what we do. As we see it, a big part of being a ‘Good Neighbor’ is continuously investing in our communities,” State Farm senior vice president Dan Krause said. “We’re excited to build on our partnership with the Atlanta Hawks and show how much we care about our neighbors in Atlanta with the opening of this seventh Good Neighbor Club at Coan Park Recreation Center.”

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The Hawks and KultureCity have a relationship that dates to 2017, when the Hawks became the first NBA team in the Southeast Division to have KultureCity certify their home venue as sensory-inclusive. In 2019, State Farm Arena was recognized by KultureCity as the Sensory Inclusive Venue of the Year, and a new sensory room was created to improve the staff’s ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs.

In October, the team temporarily converted the arena’s sensory-inclusive room to include treats in line with the Teal Pumpkin Project, which brings awareness to those with food allergies.

“Our communities are what shape our lives, and to know that Atlanta Hawks and State Farm are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” said Uma Srivastava, executive director of KultureCity. “We’re honored to partner with everyone to provide a truly inclusive experience for all residents! We are also thankful for our partners, Nanoleaf, Puro Sound Labs and Yogibo, who make our sensory rooms extraordinary.”

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