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Staples And Chicago Bears To Make It Easier For Chicago Youth To Achieve Academic Success; New After-School Program with Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago Will Reach 1,500 Area Youth

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:18 pm EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"The Touchdown Club Power Hour is a great opportunity for Staples to utilize our longstanding relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs and our new partnership with the Chicago Bears to make a real difference in the lives of Chicago youth."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, unveiled a new after-school initiative with the Chicago Bears and Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago to bolster after-school academics. The announcement was made by Bob Wolfe of Staples and Bob Howard of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago at the Bears training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago's Touchdown Club Power Hour connects Chicago Bears players, wives and staff, and Staples associates with area Boys & Girls Clubs during the Bears season to help tutor Chicagoland youth. The program is designed to encourage students to focus on academics after school and reward them for their academic achievements.

"Staples entered Chicagoland with a commitment to help the communities that our associates and customers live and work in," said Bob Wolfe, Staples regional vice president. "The Touchdown Club Power Hour is a great opportunity for Staples to utilize our longstanding relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs and our new partnership with the Chicago Bears to make a real difference in the lives of Chicago youth."

Wolfe joined Chicago Bears players Bobby Wade, wide receiver, Jerry Azumah, corner back, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago president and CEO Bob Howard and 50 children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago at Staples Bears training camp to officially launch the Touchdown Club Power Hour. During the event, the players, Howard and Wolfe outlined the goals of the program, spoke about the importance of academic achievement and participated in a trivia tournament with the kids.

"There is a critical need to provide learning and development opportunities for Chicagoland youth outside of the classroom, particularly for disadvantaged youth," said Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago president and CEO, Bob Howard. "With the support of the Chicago Bears and Staples, the Touchdown Club Power Hour will provide tutoring and mentor support for thousands of area youth on a weekly basis, but more importantly, the program will reinforce that learning can be a rewarding experience."

Program Rewards

To recognize academic achievement, the Touchdown Club Power Hour will feature a football scoring system that allocates points for specific accomplishments of participating children and clubs. Participating clubs and children will be able to chronicle their points in a customized Chicago Bears/Staples homework assignment book throughout the season.

At the end of the season, the child with the most points will receive tickets to a Chicago Bears game. The club with the most points will be awarded a celebration at their club with an appearance by a Chicago Bears player. Staples also plans to donate school supplies to the winning club at the party.

Since its Chicagoland launch in March of 2005, Staples has been focused on giving back to the local community. In fact, each of Staples' 16 new Chicagoland stores have partnered with a neighborhood charity to bring them much-needed resources to better serve the community.

The office products company is also the Chicago Bears newest Hall of Fame sponsor. As part of this partnership, Staples has become the title sponsor of Bears training camp, will receive prominent positioning within Soldier Field when the NFL season begins and is working with the team to develop community programs like the Touchdown Club Power Hour to support Chicagoland youth.

To learn more about Staples initiatives in Chicagoland including the Touchdown Club Power Hour, visit www.staples.com/chicagoland.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago serve more than 18,000 young people per year through 28 clubs and 10 child care facilities throughout the city. The clubs provide young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, with a safe environment for young people to have fun and learn.

Each club is supervised by caring and trained professionals who engage kids in more than 200 activities each year, ranging from sports and recreation to academic activities.

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 1,680 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.

Contact:

Staples Inc.
Joy Errico, 508-253-7957
joy.errico@staples.com
or
Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago
Ryan Williams, 312-235-8049
rwilliams@bgcc.org
or
Weber Shandwick
Jerry Gleason, 312-988-2277
jgleason@webershandwick.com

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