Autism Speaks and Learning Express Toys Announce Partnership

Add $2 or more at checkout to support Autism Speaks

BOSTON, March 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Learning Express Toys, the nation's leading franchisor of educational toy stores, announces a yearlong partnership with Autism Speaks. As a proud supporter of Autism Speaks' mission, Learning Express Toys, with more than 120 locations across the country, will offer various ways for shoppers to donate to this life-changing organization.

During the month of April—Autism Awareness month—in exchange for a $2 or more donation, shoppers will be asked to add their names to Puzzle Piece cards to show their commitment to Autism Speaks. Throughout the year, LE Toys also will be holding sensory shopping fundraisers and Play Day Fundraisers to benefit the nonprofit dedicated to supporting people with Autism.

"Autism Speaks is an excellent match-up for us," says Sharon DiMinico, CEO and founder of Learning Express Toys. "Skill Builders, one of our signature programs, highlights toys for children with learning differences. We look forward to helping families through fundraisers and events."

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the US and presents challenges across a lifetime. Families with a child with autism face costs of over $60,000 annually. Autism Speaks funds research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and a cure for autism. The organization raises public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society.

"Autism Speaks is thrilled to kick off Autism Awareness Month in April with the support of Learning Express Toys," said Alec M. Elbert, Autism Speaks' chief strategy and development officer. "We share with Learning Express Toys a commitment to extend help and hope to our community, and we are most grateful for their support and look forward to a long partnership."

About Learning Express Toys

Learning Express Toys is the nation's leading franchisor of educational toy stores with more than 120 locations across the country—each one locally owned and operated. Providing an extraordinary shopping experience, Learning Express Toys is best known for its knowledgeable and playful sales staff and its unique product mix (birth – age 14). Believing that everyone who walks through the doors should be WOWED, Learning Express Toys focuses on the customer experience.

A birthday gift registry, free gift wrapping, free personalization, civic fundraising and regularly scheduled children's events contribute to the exceptional customer service and energetic atmosphere.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness.

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