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Office Depot, Inc. Enables Teachers to Access Classroom Funding Sources

National Partnerships Help Reduce Burden and Out-of-pocket Costs for Educators

Monday, November 14, 2016 9:00 am EST

Dateline:

BOCA RATON, Fla.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
ODP
US6762201068
"We are grateful to participate in the ‘Teachers Supply Card’ program, as it allows our teachers to spend less of their personal resources on teaching materials"

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions, through its Office Depot and OfficeMax brands, today announced that education experts from its “Committed to Learning” initiative are working with school districts across the country, including Hillsborough County Public Schools (Fla.) and Clayton County Public Schools (Ga.), to reduce educators’ out-of-pocket expenses for classroom tools and supplies while allowing them to spend more time teaching.

Office Depot, Inc. has developed classroom enablement programs nationwide to help individual classroom teachers directly access available funding sources that are often underused or forgotten. Listening to teachers’ concerns, the company’s education experts work with districts to provide customized solutions allowing teachers to bypass red-tape, save time, and reduce the out-of-pocket burden. According to the Education Market Association’s 2013 Retail Market Awareness Study, $1.6 billion in school supply costs are shifted to teachers every year.

Through Office Depot’s “Committed to Learning” initiative, Hillsborough County Public Schools utilized the “Florida Teacher Classroom Supplies Assistance Program” to provide virtual cards that extend teachers’ personal spend on much-needed classroom supplies. Through the virtual cards, Office Depot offered the teachers a discount and purchases were tax free, which simplified the record keeping. This program removes barriers for teachers and the district by streamlining implementation and invoicing.

Hillsborough implemented the classroom enablement program after the Florida legislature passed a law which provides about $250 to Florida teachers for use toward the purchase of classroom supplies each school year.

“When Office Depot partnered with Hillsborough County Public Schools not only did it create a portal for teachers to use the virtual card, they created it so that all those purchases were tax free and receipts were kept online,” said Pamela Hendrickson, payroll department manager for Hillsborough County Public Schools. “Office Depot was able to supply us with the greatest support and I’m excited about what this means for teachers because those classroom supplies can be in their hands, they can do their job, they can teach their students.”

Additionally, Office Depot’s “Committed to Learning” initiative is working to implement similar programs to those created with Clayton County Public Schools. Clayton County enlisted Office Depot’s support when the district was having difficulty attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. The company’s education representatives collaborated with Clayton County to develop the “Teacher Supply Card,” a program that supplies teachers with purchasing cards which offset expenses typically incurred at the beginning of the year.

“We are grateful to participate in the ‘Teachers Supply Card’ program, as it allows our teachers to spend less of their personal resources on teaching materials,” said Luvenia W. Jackson, Clayton County Public Schools superintendent. “In Clayton County Public Schools it is our goal to provide students the best possible education and that starts with ensuring that the teachers have the appropriate classroom materials needed to provide instruction. We are thankful to Office Depot for their continued support of our school district and its mission and goals to promote student achievement and academic success.”

As a part of the “Teacher Supply Card” program, Office Depot provides purchasing cards to teachers and helps save school districts upwards of 10 percent on additional tools and resources for classrooms.

“School districts want the best for their teachers, but they have limited time and resources,” said Becki Schwietz, senior director of K-12 initiatives for Office Depot, Inc. “Our classroom enablement programs help school budgets go further while reducing the out-of-pocket expenditures teachers often experience.”

Office Depot’s “Committed to Learning” initiative includes a national team of education experts and partners to help school districts innovate new, best practices. Leveraging two decades of partnership with schools, the company works with thousands of districts to promote equity in education, mastery learning and collaboration between schools and communities for successful student outcomes.

Find out about Office Depot, Inc.’s education solutions at business.officedepot.com/education.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

The company has annual sales of approximately $14 billion, employs approximately 49,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 59 countries with approximately 1,800 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax, Grand & Toy, and Viking. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and HighMark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://news.officedepot.com.

Contact:

Office Depot, Inc.
Julianne Embry, 561-438-1451
julianne.embry@officedepot.com
or
Edelman
Amanda Olson, 512-634-3661
amanda.olson1@edelman.com