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Staples Makes It Easier for Tinley Park Youth to Protect the Environment

Office Products Company to Help Empower Young Environmental Citizens

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPLS) the world's largest office products company, came to Chicago with a mission: make life easier for area customers. Staples is making good on that mission by teaming up with teachers and students from Prairie View Middle School and Earth Force's Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN) program in an effort to build the next generation of environmental stewards.

Store associates from the Staples Tinley Park location at 16189 South Harlem Avenue helped students test water at the pond across from the Middle School to learn first-hand about water quality in the Tinley Park area. And on Friday, September 30, a separate group of students from Grissom Middle School will test the water at McCarthy Park from 9-11 a.m. across the street from their school. Staples donated $100,000 to Earth Force to support its programs in Tinley Park and in four other communities around the nation.

"Each of our stores in the Chicagoland area have adopted a local charity and continue to support their important work," said Bill Rosado, Staples general manager. "Aside from the contribution we provided to Earth Force, I'm proud that our store associates are donating their time to ensure the ongoing success of the Earth Force GREEN program."

The GREEN program provides youth the educational opportunities to understand, improve and sustain the water resources in their communities. GREEN empowers young people to learn more about water quality within their watershed and use their findings to create lasting solutions. Founded in 1984, this award-winning program is aimed at teaching middle and high school-aged youth essential academic skills including critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving and decision making. GREEN provides educators with innovative resources including a network of support, an online watershed exploratory tool, water monitoring equipment, technical manuals and action guides.

"It's essential that we provide our young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be principled stewards of their environment, particularly of water resources," said Jennifer McDonnell, Capital Region Earth Force executive director. "Once they understand the importance of preserving these resources, it is only then that they will have a healthier tomorrow."

The Earth Force program infuses environmental education and civic education into regular class curriculum to teach students about science and environmental stewardship. Part of this program involves students monitoring water systems to better understand the need for protecting the environment and preserving local water resources.

"Our future success in Chicago is directly linked to the well being of the communities we serve," added Rosado. "We haven't simply opened stores in Chicago, we are working to create meaningful relationships."

About Earth Force

Earth Force is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating a generation of young people who are environmental citizens. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the national organization gives young people the skills and knowledge to create lasting solutions to environmental problems in their communities. Annually, Earth Force provides 35,000 youth with the skills and knowledge to create lasting change in their communities while developing lifelong habits of active citizenship and social responsibility. For more information on Earth Force visit http://www.earthforce.org or http://www.green.org.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,716 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

SOURCE Staples, Inc.

CONTACT:
Joy Errico of Staples, Inc., +1-508-253-7957
or joy.errico@staples.com; or Michelle Young, +1-312-988-2294,
or myoung@webershandwick.com, for Staples, Inc.