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Press release from Business Wire

Staples Donates $40,000 to Support Jumpstart's Read for the Record Events in MetroWest

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Staples Volunteers to Help Set New World Record for the Largest Shared Reading Experience at Events in Framingham and Worcester</i> </p>

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Staples Donates $40,000 to Support Jumpstart's Read for the Record Events in MetroWest07:30 EDT Thursday, October 06, 2011 FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (Business Wire) -- Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPLS) the world's largest office products company, today announced increased support for Jumpstart's Read for the Record®, a national campaign that mobilizes adults and children to close the early education achievement gap by setting a reading world record. For the third consecutive year, Staples is hosting events in Framingham and Worcester, and giving local youth the opportunity to participate in this unique reading experience. To date, Staples has donated more than $100,000 to Jumpstart in support of Read for the Record, and has helped raise awareness of the early education crisis affecting millions of at-risk children across the globe. New this year, Staples will host an online virtual reading, allowing more participants to read along by watching a video featured on the Staples facebook page. This morning at the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) and Bright Horizons in Framingham and the Rainbow Child Development Center in Worcester, Staples volunteers joined hundreds of local preschool children to read Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama Red Pajama. Staples also donated 600 copies of the book to ensure these children's homes are literacy-rich environments. “Millions of children are at risk of school failure before they even start kindergarten,” said Susan Slater, executive director of Jumpstart's Northeast Region. “Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign generates broader awareness of this issue, empowering individuals and communities to advocate that all children receive the quality early education they deserve. With the continued support from sponsors like Staples, we are confident the campaign will continue setting world records and helping ensure all children enter school prepared to succeed.” By supporting the event in MetroWest, Staples, SMOC, Bright Horizons and Rainbow Child Development Center draw attention to the growing crisis in early childhood education in America. In low-income neighborhoods, children start kindergarten 60 percent behind their wealthier peers, and likely will never catch up. Studies show that a quality early education can set children on a path for success, helping to close this achievement gap. “Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign has been instrumental in raising awareness of America's early education achievement gap,” said Amy Shanler, director of community relations for Staples, Inc. “We are committed to supporting the program and giving children and adults in MetroWest the opportunity to participate in this unique experience to help set a new world record.” Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, Jumpstart's Read for the Record brings individuals together to show how the achievement gap in early childhood education can be immediately improved. Last year, 2 million children and adults helped set the current world record by taking part in one-day local events across the country. This year, Jumpstart aimed to break the world record by having over 2.1 million children participate. In Massachusetts alone, more than 75,000 children pledged to Read for the Record. About Jumpstart Every child deserves the chance to succeed, yet studies show that children from low-income neighborhoods are at a greater risk of school failure. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that helps these children develop the language and literacy skills they need for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained nearly 25,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver its program to more than 100,000 preschool children nationwide. Jumpstart's award-winning program holds a “Best in America” seal from Independent Charities of America. Jumpstart's national sponsors include American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Franklin Templeton Investments, and the Pearson Foundation. Join us to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Learn more at www.jstart.org. About the Pearson Foundation Pearson, the international education and information company, is Jumpstart's Read for the Record Presenting Sponsor and Founding National Partner. The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. For more information, visit www.pearsonfoundation.org. About We Give Books We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online. We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers. We Give Books also helps some of the world's best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support. For more information, visit www.wegivebooks.org. About Staples in the Community Staples contributes to educational and youth-oriented community efforts, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arms of Staples, Inc. Through its community relations efforts, Staples and Staples Foundation have helped more than 6,000 organizations in 2,000 communities across 27 countries. Community relations is also an integral component of Staples Soul, which recognizes the connection between long-term business success and the impact Staples has on associates, communities and the planet. For more information, visit www.staples/com/community. For Staples, Inc.Lynda Curtis, 781-559-0423Lynda.Curtis@rfbinder.com