NEW YORK, NY ( March 5, 2008) -- Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, announced yesterday that 500 Barnes & Noble stores across the country will partner with Autism Speaks to host special Storytimes in April as part of Autism Awareness Month. The Storytime events will kick off on Wednesday, April 2, with a special "Let's Be Friends: An Autism Awareness Storytime Event" at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble store in New York City (1972 Broadway at 66th Street).
On April 2, Barnes & Noble stores across the country will host celebrity Storytimes in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas. Celebrities will read books that encourage compassion and respect for individuals with autism and other disabilities. Some 500 Barnes & Noble stores will continue the reading program during Autism Awareness Month.
"Autism affects one in 150 children in this country and yet remains a mystery for far too many people," said Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. "Our special Storytime events, in partnership with Autism Speaks, are a unique way in which we can help spread knowledge and promote understanding of this disorder, which affects so many children each year."
"We are extremely grateful for Barnes & Noble's participation in our effort to increase awareness about autism throughout the month of April," said Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. "These in-store events will do a great deal to foster a sense of tolerance and understanding, something families affected by autism desperately need as they face the many day-to-day challenges posed by this disorder."
Barnes & Noble's national program, in partnership with Autism Speaks, is designed to raise awareness about autism and foster understanding of the disorder through in-store readings, activities and discussions. Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, and to funding research into the causes, prevention, and treatments for autism. All stores will feature books and information about autism.
For more information on the Storytime event and for a complete list of participating store locations please visit www.bn.com/autism
ABOUT BARNES & NOBLE, INC.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 801 bookstores in 50 states. For the fifth year in a row, the company is the nation's top retail brand for quality, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (http://www.bn.com/), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites and the number one online bookseller for quality among e-commerce companies, according to the latest EquiTrend survey.
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate Web site: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org/.