Staples and Mass Mentoring Partnership Announce Call to Action to Recruit Adults and Businesses in Massachusetts to Support Youth Mentoring

Statewide Public Awareness and Mentor Recruitment Campaign to Kick Off During National Mentoring Month - January 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 8:00 am EST

Dateline:

BOSTON

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Staples’ support of Mass Mentoring Partnership will help the organization find positive adult role models that increase future academic and career opportunities for young adults."

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) today announced it will work with Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPLS) the world’s largest office products company, for the third 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 approximately 3,000 Massachusetts youth. The campaign will kick off on Jan. 1, 2012 in celebration of National Mentoring Month (NMM) and will feature 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.

“By creating meaningful mentor-mentee relationships, mentoring programs serve as important vehicles for promoting youth development in Massachusetts,” said Marty Martinez, chief program officer, Mass Mentoring Partnership. “Support from Staples provides us with the opportunity to create greater awareness around the importance of mentoring, encourage adults to become mentors in their local communities and help businesses see how they can help transform the lives of young people across the state.”

Staples supported MMP in 2010 and 2011 with $25,000 annual donations in support of National Mentoring Month to increase awareness around the growing need for mentors for at-risk Massachusetts youth. With Staples’ assistance, MMP received more than 1,780 inquiries from potential mentors, a 90 percent increase from 2009. National Mentoring Month is the kickoff to MMP’s 2012 goal to generate more than 2,000 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.

“Mass Mentoring Partnership’s dedication to expanding quality mentoring throughout Massachusetts aligns with Staples’ commitment to supporting programs in our own backyard that provide educational opportunities and job skills for local youth,” said Amy Shanler, director of community relations for Staples, Inc. “Staples’ support of Mass Mentoring Partnership will help the organization find positive adult role models that increase future academic and career opportunities for young adults.”

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 consumer and business publications throughout Massachusetts. They will highlight the impact of mentoring, recognize the great service of current mentors and present a call to action for more adults and businesses 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 Jan. 19, 2012. 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. For the second consecutive year, the “Ignite Award” will be presented to a mentoring program staff member and mentor who have demonstrated a commitment to motivating and inspiring people to become advocates of mentoring. For the first time, MMP and Staples will also present an Ignite Award to a business that has shown a commitment and dedication to the field of mentoring.

For additional information and to sign up to be a mentor, visit: http://massmentors.org/becoming-a-mentor

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 190 mentoring programs that supports over 23,000 youth in mentoring relationships. For more information: www.massmentors.org.

About Staples in the Community

Staples contributes to educational and youth-oriented community efforts, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. Through its community relations efforts, Staples and Staples Foundation have helped more than 6,000 organizations in 2,000 communities across 27 countries. Community relations is also an integral component of Staples Soul, which recognizes the connection between long-term business success and the impact Staples has on associates, communities and the planet. For more information, visit www.staples.com/community.

Multimedia Files:

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Staples, Inc. and Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) are joining forces for the third consecutive year to support a Massachusetts-wide public awareness campaign. Staples is donating $25,000 to MMP to build awareness and recruit caring adult mentors for approximately 3,000 Massachusetts youth. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Contact:

for Staples
Brooks Wallace, 781-559-0426
Brooks.Wallace@rfbinder.com
or
for Mass Mentoring
Rich Greif, 617-695-2478
Rgreif@massmentors.org


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