PRESS RELEASE: Staples Invests in Citizen Schools' Apprenticeship Program


Hundreds of Volunteers Across Massachusetts Prepare to Go "Back to School" This Fall

Staples Invests in Program that Brings Volunteers Into Schools

Boston, MA -  August 30, 2011 – Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income students, announced today it has received an investment of $50,000 from Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) to help fund Citizen Schools’ apprenticeships in Massachusetts this school year.   Funding from Staples will support Citizens Schools’ apprentice program as it works with more than 600 volunteers to teach students one afternoon each week at middle schools in Boston, New Bedford, and Revere.  Since 2006, Staples has given nearly $70,000 in support to Citizens Schools’ programs.

Volunteers, called “Citizen Teachers,” will instruct 10-week “apprenticeships” where students will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with experts in various fields, exploring new professions, learning new skills, and creating something for their community.  At the end of the 10-week apprenticeship, students participate in a “WOW!” event, named after the reaction most adults have after seeing students work, which gives youth a chance to turn the tables, become the experts, and teach adults all they have learned.

With the support from Staples, Citizen Teacher volunteers will go back to school to teach a wide array of apprenticeships this fall.  Topics will range from “Buying the Celtics,” a course on the business side of sports taught by lawyers from Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, to a course on developing online marketing campaigns for real-life client Reebok Women, to a JavaScript programming course with Google engineers.

“Our apprenticeships help infuse relevance in the school day, spark new interests, and stir motivation for our students,” said Pat Kirby, executive director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts.  “Through its investment, Staples is helping to make it easy for Citizen Schools to recruit, train, and inspire the best volunteers to work with our students.”

Through Citizen Schools’ apprenticeship program, hands-on projects show students the math in cooking, the science in recycling, and the discipline to rehearsing a dance routine.  Independent studies show that apprenticeships have outstanding results for students, including higher grades, increased attendance, and an elevated graduation rate in comparison with their peers.

“Citizen Schools’ unique Citizen Teacher model provides students with a unique opportunity to explore and discover a love for learning,” said Amy Shanler, director of community relations for Staples, Inc.  “Staples is committed to supporting programs that provide valuable opportunities for youth to realize their potential to succeed.”

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low income children across the country. Citizen Schools uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building Apprenticeships after school. The organization’s programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.

The Massachusetts Citizen Schools program launched in 1995 and currently serves over 1,100 students and engages thousands of volunteers each school year.

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