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Staples Unites With Reading Is Fundamental to Celebrate Education Appreciation Day On August 18

Office Superstore Donates Percentage of Day's Sales to RIF to Promote Literacy; Teachers, Parents and Students Honored With Festivities and Free Gifts at Every Staples Store Nationwide

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 15, 2001--Families who purchase back-to-school supplies at Staples stores on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2001 will do more than fill their children's bookbags for the first day of school. Staples and Reading Is Fundamental(R) (RIF(R)) have designated the date Education Appreciation Day. Teachers, parents, and children are invited to any one of the 1,050 Staples stores nationwide where they can participate in reading festivities, receive free back-to-school gifts, and use their purchasing power to support RIF, the nation's largest nonprofit children's and family literacy organization.

"We're thrilled to announce our partnership with RIF and firmly believe in their mission to encourage enthusiasm for reading from the earliest age," says Shira Goodman, Staples Executive Vice President of Marketing. "Education Appreciation Day allows us to honor and bring awareness to RIF on both a national and local level as well as recognize all those involved in the education process."

One percent of purchases at Staples stores nationwide on August 18 will be donated to RIF (up to $100,000). On a local level, customers may choose to support their local RIF program by adding a donation onto their purchase. Free RIF reading guides will also be available with tips to help children experience the joy of reading all year long.

"RIF is grateful to Staples and their customers for supporting the millions of children RIF serves each year by participating in Education Appreciation Day on August 18," said William E. Trueheart, president and chief executive officer of RIF. "This fun-filled day will help teachers and families prepare for the school year in a festive way while also providing them with RIF's tips to help children become lifelong readers."

To send kids back to school the "write way," Staples stores will be handing out a total of four million neon pencils to students. At Staples, parents will also find their child's school supply list and can sign up for Upromise membership, a tax-deferred college savings accelerator. The program deposits two percent of all member's Staples' purchases into the college savings account of their choice. And at checkout, every Staples customer will receive a certificate for 10% off Borders books, music and videos.

Education Appreciation Day will also benefit teachers who purchase supplies for their classroom at Staples. Educators are eligible for a free, classroom wall map and can take advantage of the Staples Teacher Rewards program where teachers receive a $10 certificate for every $100 they accumulate in purchases spent at Staples stores, online or via catalog.

About Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.

Founded in 1966, RIF develops and delivers children's and family literacy programs that help prepare young children for reading and motivate school-age children to read regularly. Through a national, grassroots network of more than 310,000 community volunteers, last year RIF programs provided 14 million new, free books and other essential literacy resources to more than 4 million children. This year, RIF is celebrating its 35th anniversary and the milestone of placing more than 200 million books in the hands and homes of children who need them most. For more information, visit RIF's Web site at www.rif.org.

About Staples Inc.

Staples Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

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CONTACT: Staples Inc.
Jennifer Rosenberg
(508) 253-7375
jennifer.rosenberg@staples.com
or
Schneider & Associates
Juliana Lear/Maryanne Keeney
(617) 536-3300