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The Sandals Foundation and School Specialty Partner to Support Caribbean Students With Vital Educational Supplies in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew
~Companies Team-up with “Pack for a Purpose” Initiative to Further Empower Young Lives and Communities~

NEGRIL, Jamaica, Oct. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International, is proud to announce its new collaboration with School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty” or “SSI”) for the Pack for a Purpose® program. This partnership will further assist travelers to Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, who wish to bring along much-needed supplies for the resort company’s locally-supported schools in the Caribbean. The partnership also comes at a crucial time when support is needed for the current relief and rebuilding efforts in the region following Hurricane Matthew.

The Sandals Foundation - School Specialty - JA School Tour
Figure 1 - The Sandals Foundation and School Specialty teams visit with students and teachers at the Mount Airy Primary & Infant School in Jamaica to donate school supplies.


The Sandals Foundation


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fcb730e7-3afc-4bd6-b921-7d82c54ba5eb

Over the next twelve months, School Specialty has committed its support to students and teachers in The Islands with a donation of educational supplies valued at US$150,000. First priority has earmarked a portion of these supplies for schools across The Bahamas including schools in hardest hit islands such as Grand Bahamas and Andros for hurricane relief efforts. The assorted products will range from well-known and trusted brands in the market, as well as SSI’s own proprietary offerings including Abilitations®, Califone®, Childcraft®, Classroom Select®, EPS®, Frey Scientific®, Premier™, Sax®, School Smart®, and Sportime® featuring SPARK™.

Following a number of consultations and enlightening discussions with educators in country, the School Specialty team has also curated an assortment of classroom resources and tools that are critically needed by teachers and their students on The Islands. Together, they developed an assortment of pre-assembled backpacks filled with fundamental items for different grade levels, including art supplies, pens and pencils, notebooks and paper, various accessories such as calculators, rulers, staplers, scissors, and more. Now, guests staying at any of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts will be invited to Pack for a Purpose and purchase their supplies – for those in need as well as for their own use – through schoolspecialty.com/sandals.

“School Specialty is a leader in delivering innovative curriculum materials, supplies and furnishings that help foster vital 21st century learning environments and skills, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as a partner in support of such an important initiative as Pack for a Purpose,” stated Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for The Sandals Foundation. “This is an especially important time during our collaboration when The Bahamas have suffered tremendous destruction by Hurricane Matthew and need our help in providing essential materials and supplies for their rebuilding efforts. We’re so grateful to have a partner in School Specialty that can bring the kinds of resources children in classrooms across these affected islands and the wider Caribbean region need for a strong educational foundation. We look forward to our relationship growing and creating a better tomorrow for our young learners and future leaders.”

Since 2012, the Sandals Foundation has been a key collaborator with the non-profit Pack for a Purpose program that encourages travelers to bring up to 5 pounds of needed supplies in their suitcases to meet the needs of people in nearby underdeveloped regions.  All Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, The Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, and Turks and Caicos serve as participating destinations for the program and have collected and distributed thousands of pounds of needed materials to the many educational institutions which the Sandals Foundation supports.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Sandals Foundation for the Pack for a Purpose initiative! Their mission aligns with School Specialty’s own values to do what’s right, to lead with action and do our best in helping and inspiring our neighbors around the world,” said Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer of School Specialty. “This holds true particularly during those times when we must come together to help do what we can to support each other in crises, as we see with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Together with Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ guests, we look forward to providing top-quality learning supplies and equipment that enable meaningful educational experiences and have a transformative impact on the thousands of children and their communities throughout the Caribbean, where The Sandals Foundation calls home.”

The Sandals Foundation and School Specialty partnership was announced at Social Media On the Sand at Beaches Negril on October 26-30, which was attended by a number of special guests including event sponsors and influential media bloggers, who sought to sharpen their social media skills with immersive and empowering sessions.

About The Sandals Foundation 
The Sandals Foundation is the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the Caribbean’s leading family-owned resort company. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was created to continue and to expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken since its founding in 1981 to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at http://www.sandalsfoundation.org

About School Specialty, Inc.
School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products. Finally, through its SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics. For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.

@SchoolSpecialty
Connect with School Specialty on social media; search School Specialty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For Ideas and resources, educational trends and inspiration for today’s educators – visit the Schoolyard blog.

Company Contacts:
Liz Kaiser
Partnership Marketing Director
The Sandals Foundation
Tel: 305-284-1300 x4594
Email: lkaiser@uvi.sandals.com

Rich Harney
SVP, Marketing
School Specialty
Tel: 920-882-5713
Email: rich.harney@schoolspecialty.com

Media Contacts:
Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester
GW Communications (for School Specialty)
Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068
Email: gwiener@GWCco.com / dionne@GWCco.com

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School Specialty, Inc