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Staples and Mass Mentoring Partnership Team Up to Encourage Adults throughout Massachusetts to Serve as Mentors for Local Youth
January Kicks Off National Mentoring Month's Statewide Public Awareness and Mentor Recruitment Campaign

BOSTON, Jan 04, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) today announced it is joining with Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPLS) the world's largest office products company, for the second consecutive year to support a statewide public awareness and mentor recruitment campaign. Staples is donating $25,000 to MMP to build awareness and recruit caring adult mentors for 3,000 Massachusetts youth. The campaign kicked off on Jan. 1, 2011 in celebration of National Mentoring Month (NMM), and features online and print advertisements running statewide through January. NMM is an annual national campaign aimed at raising public awareness and recruiting mentors throughout the country.

"Mentoring has helped thousands of youth in Massachusetts find the support and guidance they need for academic and career success," said David Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of Mass Mentoring Partnership. "The support we are receiving from Staples will enable us to raise public awareness around the power of mentoring and encourage adults to answer the call to action and become mentors in quality programs in their local communities."

Staples began supporting MMP in 2010 with a $25,000 donation in support of National Mentoring Month to increase awareness around the growing need for mentors for at-risk Massachusetts youth. As a result of last year's public awareness campaign, MMP achieved more than 130 inquiries from potential mentors to 40 statewide mentoring programs, a 45 percent increase from 2009. National Mentoring Month is the kickoff to MMP's 2011 goal to generate more than 1,000 inquiries from potential mentors to serve youth in Massachusetts looking to connect with an adult mentor.

Research has shown that youth guided by a successful role model are more likely to improve their academic performance through better decision-making skills and self-confidence. Based on research conducted with the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts and confirmed by national research, children with adult mentors are 64 percent more likely to experience school-related improvements such as higher grades and better attendance.

"Mentoring programs are a great way to reach youth and help them realize their full potential to succeed," said Amy Shanler, director of community relations for Staples, Inc. "Staples is committed to continuing its support of Mass Mentoring Partnership and its mission to find positive adult role models that develop leadership skills while increasing the future academic and career opportunities for thousands of youth throughout Massachusetts."

The statewide public awareness campaign features advertisements promoting mentoring, which were created pro bono by Boston-based Conover Tuttle Pace. The ads will be featured in online and print newspapers in Boston, Quincy, Brockton, the North Shore and Western Massachusetts. They will highlight the impact of mentoring, recognize the great service of current mentors and present a call to action for more adults to become involved.

In addition to the advertising outreach campaign, Staples and MMP will celebrate mentoring with a Youth Mentoring Day at the State House on January 26. This event, co-hosted by the Massachusetts Service Alliance, will honor state legislators and other supporters of mentoring, celebrate successful youth mentoring relationships, and raise awareness about the need for increased support for mentoring. New to the event this year, the "Ignite Award" will be presented to a mentoring program staff or mentor who has demonstrated a commitment to motivating and inspiring people to become advocates of mentoring.

About Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mass Mentoring Partnership is the only statewide organization dedicated to strategically expanding quality mentoring to meet the needs of youth across Massachusetts. MMP serves over 170 mentoring organizations that supports over 23,000 youth in mentoring relationships. For more information:

About Staples

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.

for Mass Mentoring Partnership
Rich Greif, 617-695-2478
Staples, Inc.
Amy Shanler, 508-253-6709