Schools Across Canada Compete to Win 1 of 10 Computer Labs from Staples Canada

VIDEO: Staples Canada president, Steve Matyas talks about Recycle for Education, giving students the chance to win a $25,000 computer lab for their school.

Earth Day Canada and Staples challenge students to demonstrate their commitment to the environment

TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - More than half of the computer labs in Canadian public schools are outdated by over two years (57 per cent), and almost one in five schools lack computer labs at all, according to a recent survey of teachers.

To help ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed, Staples Canada is donating  computer labs, valued at $25,000 each, to ten elementary and secondary public schools across Canada. The program is a part of the company's 2013 Recycle for Education Computer Lab Contest, this year brought in collaboration with Earth Day Canada.

"We live in a tech-driven society and students in elementary and secondary public schools spend nearly six hours in computer labs every week," said Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada. "Having the latest technology in schools has never been more important, and we're very proud to bring back this popular contest."

The Vision Critical survey was commissioned by Staples in December. The survey showed that 86 per cent of Canadian teachers believe that upgraded computer labs will help students progress in reading and literacy skills, in addition to subjects like science (80 per cent,) math (77 per cent) and social science (73 per cent).

Earth Day Canada Partnership

This year, Staples Canada is running the contest in collaboration with Earth Day Canada who works closely with teachers across the country to help develop programs designed to teach students about the importance of sustainability. Staples will donate $25 to Earth Day Canada for every school that enters the Recycle for Education contest.

"We're thrilled about our new partnership with Earth Day Canada," said Matyas. "It's vital for students to learn the significance of recycling at a young age."

"Providing youth with opportunities to learn about environmental issues and their solutions are key aspects of our work," said Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada. "Working with Staples on the Recycle for Education Contest allows us to recognize schools for their environmental initiatives while providing teachers and students with the technology necessary to research and implement new strategies to lessen the environmental impact of their school and beyond into their communities."

Recycle for Education Essay

To enter, one student from each Canadian elementary or secondary public school can submit a principal-approved 500-word essay on how their school has become environmentally responsible. Students can submit their entries at Staples.ca/RecycleForEducation, or on the Staples Canada Facebook page. Winning schools will be announced in early April.

The Judging Panel

The essays will be judged by seven industry experts. Staples Canada is proud to announce the 2013 Recycle for Education Computer Lab Contest judges:

  • Frances Edmonds, director, Environmental Programs, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co
  • Michael Furdyk, co-founder, TakingITGlobal
  • Wade Humphries, operations manager for iControl, Direct Energy
  • Joey McColm, NASCAR Canada Driver
  • Gordon Harrison, executive director, GreenLearning Canada
  • Jed Goldberg, president, Earth Day Canada
  • Scott Alic, account manager, WM Sustainability Services, a Division of Waste Management

For more information on Staples' environmental programs, or how schools can get a free ink cartridge bin, please visit Staples.ca.

Survey Methodology

From December 6-10, 2012, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 500 randomly selected Canadian teachers who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current region Census data to ensure a sample representative of teachers in Canada.

About Staples Canada

Staples, Canada's largest office products company is committed to providing Canadians with a wide choice of office services and products. Serving all types of business - from the small home office to large enterprise - Staples makes it easy for customers to operate their offices efficiently and affordably by offering an extensive selection of office supplies, technology, electronics and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and maintenance, and copy and print services. Operating as Bureau en GrosMC in the province of Quebec and Staples Canada in all other provinces, the company employs over 15,000 associates at 330+ stores and at their head office in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Ranked as one of Canada's top ten Canadian companies in Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2011 Corporate Reputation Survey, Staples/Bureau en Gros is dedicated to offering customers the highest level of service, whether they choose to shop in-store, by catalogue or online. Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros also is invested in a number of corporate giving programs that actively support environmental, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives in Canadian communities from coast to coast. Visit www.staples.ca for more information, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Earth Day Canada

Earth Day Canada (EDC), a national environmental charity founded in 1990, provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. In 2004 it was recognized as the top environmental education organization in North America, for its innovative year-round programs and educational resources, by the Washington-based North American Association for Environmental Education, the world's largest association of environmental educators. In 2008 it was chosen as Canada's "Outstanding Non-profit Organization" by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. EDC regularly partners with thousands of organizations in all parts of Canada. To donate to Earth Day Canada, please visit www.earthday.ca/donate.

Video with caption: "VIDEO: Staples Canada president, Steve Matyas talks about Recycle for Education, giving students the chance to win a $25,000 computer lab for their school.". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KYjtf54K9Y

SOURCE: Staples Canada Inc.

For further information:

Valerie Outmezguine
Public Relations Specialist
Staples Canada
905.737.1147 x 2426
valerie.outmezguine@staples.ca

Keith Treffry
Director of Communications & Development
Earth Day Canada
416.599.1991 x 107
keith@earthday.ca