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Earth Force and Staples Foundation for Learning Continue Empowering Youth with Environmental Education

Staples Foundation for Learning Renews Support of Earth Force with $200,000 Grant to Expand Programs that Enable Students to Become Active Environmental Citizens

Monday, June 30, 2008 8:00 am EDT

Dateline:

ALEXANDRIA, Va.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Each year, our continued partnership with Staples Foundation enables us to deepen the impact of our programs on young people and provide top quality teacher training to bring about sustainable environmental change across the country."

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earth Force, Inc., a nationally recognized leader in environmental education, today announced Staples Foundation for Learning (SFFL), a private foundation created by Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), renewed its partnership this year through a $200,000 grant. This marks the fifth year of Earth Force and Staples Foundation for Learning working together to teach students the analytical, social and problem-solving skills needed to effectively address environmental problems in their communities. To date, SFFL has given $725,000 to Earth Force in support of their efforts to help youth become active, engaged citizens.

With this years $200,000 grant from SFFL, Earth Force will provide nearly 20,000 young people with environmental education. In addition, the organization will provide over 700 educators with professional development opportunities that will enhance their environmental education teaching skills and commitment to their profession. Over the past four years, SFFL has enabled Earth Force to bring their programs to 17 states, impacting thousands of new students each year. With this years grant, Earth Force will grow its support in the existing 17 states and expand programming to serve low-income students in five new communities, including Detroit, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MO, Louisville, KY and Minneapolis, MN.

Earth Force and Staples Foundation for Learning share a mutual commitment to inspire youth to think creatively and strategically about their impact on the environment, said Ron Sargent, president of Staples Foundation for Learning and chairman and chief executive officer of Staples, Inc. Through our continued partnership, we are able to build stronger, more sustainable communities by teaching young people about the importance of environmental education and civic involvement.

With support from Staples Foundation for Learning, Earth Force has established itself as a true leader and pioneer in environmental education, said Vince Meldrum, president of Earth Force, Inc. Each year, our continued partnership with Staples Foundation enables us to deepen the impact of our programs on young people and provide top quality teacher training to bring about sustainable environmental change across the country.

In 2007, Staples and Earth Force launched the Staples Earth Force Awards, which recognize and honor youth working to make a difference by serving as active environmental citizens. These groups take on challenging community projects that address environmental issues impacting their local community. Staples and Earth Force honored groups in five participating Earth Force markets who worked on projects from collecting recycled electronics to cleaning up graffiti and litter from public parks. Staples and Earth Force will continue presenting the second annual Staples Earth Force Awards in 2008 to honor student groups engaged in meaningful environmental service projects.

About Earth Force

Through Earth Force, youth discover and implement lasting solutions to environmental issues in their community. The creation of Earth Force in 1994 recognized young people's overwhelming desire to act on behalf of the environment and to help their communities through voluntary service. Annually, Earth Force provides 20,000 youth with the skills and knowledge to create lasting change in their communities while developing lifelong habits of active citizenship and social responsibility. You can learn more about Earth Force at www.earthforce.org.

About Staples Foundation for Learning

The mission of Staples Foundation for Learning, Inc. is to teach, train and inspire. Founded in 2002, the foundation has contributed more than $12.5 million to national and local charities that provide educational opportunities and job skills for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Staples Foundation for Learning has also developed lasting relationships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Earth Force, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. In addition, Staples Foundation for Learning supports Ashoka, an organization that develops and supports social entrepreneurs around the world, in eight countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United States. For more information about the foundation or how to apply for a grant, please visit www.staplesfoundation.org.

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Contact:

Earth Force, Inc.
Vince Meldrum, 703-358-9675
Vmeldrum@earthforce.org
or
On behalf of Staples Foundation for Learning, Inc.
Joanna Aven, 781-559-0426
joanna.aven@rfbinder.com

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