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Aaron's to Distribute Free Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Educational Program and Software to Customers


ATLANTA, July 21, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Aaron Rents, Inc., the nation's leader in the rental, sales and lease ownership, specialty retailing and rental of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, today announced a back-to-school initiative to give away the well-known Hooked on Phonics(r) learning program and software with every new computer rental.

According to Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership President Ken Butler, "Aaron's has strived to bridge the digital divide by working with our computer products partners, Dell and HP, to make computers attainable to all customers. For the past several years, we have accepted lower margins on computers, devoted more staff to the program and enhanced our logistical and support service to meet the special needs of our customers. Throughout this time, both Dell and HP have helped us by providing on-line computer training, free printers and more. We're proud to team up with them again for the Hooked on Phonics giveaway."

The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Kindergarten program teaches kids the basic skills needed to become confident readers now and in the future. Along with musical audio CDs and workbooks filled with activities and stories, the programs include a library of original books, flash cards and reward stickers kids love. The program has a $64.99 retail value and Aaron's has shipped an initial order to all stores, with a commitment to order more to meet consumer demand.

"It is our sincere hope that our computer customers complete the Hooked on Phonics program with their kids, enabling thousands of children to read at a level they might not have otherwise achieved," said Aaron's Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Logistics, Mitch Paull.

"Parents are calling for quality educational products that engage kids while teaching them essential skills like reading," said Chip Paucek, President of Educate Products, which owns, distributes and markets Hooked on Phonics products. "Partnering with quality stores like Aaron's allows us to reach these parents nationwide and help them prepare their kids for successful futures and a lifelong love of reading."

The Hooked on Phonics program is available now at more than 1,245 Aaron's locations across the country.

About Aaron Rents

Aaron's stores offer customers access to high quality furniture, appliances, electronics and computers for sale or on a lease-ownership arrangement. Customers have the option of buying their merchandise for an attractive cash price, or opting to lease their merchandise for even greater flexibility. With a lease option, customers make modest monthly payments and have the immediate use of the items they need without waiting for credit checks or other delays. Plus, Aaron's will take care of delivery, set-up, repairs and more for the duration of a customer's lease.

Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE:RNT), based in Atlanta, currently has more than 1,245 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada for the rental and sale of consumer electronics, computers, residential and office furniture, household appliances and accessories. The Company manufactures furniture, bedding and accessories at 12 facilities in five states.

The Aaron Rents, Inc. logo is available at

About Educate Products, LLC

Educate Products is a leading creator of educational products for families that are fun, successful and easy to use. The company works with professional educators, interactive designers, writers, artists and parents to develop step-by-step learning systems that help teach children critical learning skills to help them succeed in school and in life. Educate Products produces, distributes and markets products for the well-known Hooked on Phonics, Reading Rainbow and Sylvan Learning brands. Hooked on Phonics products are available at major retailers nationwide and online at

CONTACT: Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership
Michele Vance
(913) 851-4650

Mullen for Educate Products/Hooked on Phonics
Angela Giovanello
(978) 468-8921

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