Commerce Bank and Arndt Elementary School Celebrate 13th Annual Opening of Arndtville in Minitropolis®
(FEB. 7, 2020) LAREDO, Texas - Today, students and educators at J. W. Arndt Elementary School celebrated the 13th annual grand opening of Arndtville Minitropolis® in conjunction with the school's 20th anniversary. Minitropolis® is a financial literacy program that provides students an opportunity to see how a community operates by giving them a variety of real-world positions in mini stores and mini-city government. The program was created by IBC Bank in 1996 and currently operates in more than 25 elementary schools across Texas.
"The Minitropolis® program prepares students for the social and financial situations they will experience in adulthood," said Ignacio Urrabazo, Commerce Bank President & CEO. "Commerce Bank believes in the importance of education and inspiring future generations to ‘Make It Happen.' We're excited for the students to experience the program for another year."
This year, pre-k through fifth-grade students will again be managing Commerce Bank at Arndtville, a post office, general store, radio station, the IRS and a café.
"This program is an incredible way for our students to learn and apply valuable financial literacy principles to everyday situations," said Juanita Zepeda, Arndt Elementary School principal. "The lessons have helped us engage our students in learning, and have increased their attendance and attitudes about education. We're excited for another year of Arndtville!"
Arndtville Minitropolis® opened at Arndt Elementary in 2007. Since then, the program has seen great success with student engagement and attendance.
Commerce Bank at Arndtville teaches students about the importance of managing their money and skills like balancing a budget, writing checks, making deposits and withdrawing money. The bank is operated by fourth- and fifth-grade students, overseen by the bank's student president and student vice president.
All students and teachers were involved in the creation and implementation of the Minitropolis® program. In order to learn the important financial literacy concepts that this program teaches, each grade level worked in the treasury department and IRS, sorting and counting "Cardinal Bucks." Fifth-grade students were elected to City Council positions, including a student Mayor of Arndtville.
Beginning today, Arndtville will be open every six weeks for students to practice social, academic and real-world skills. Incentives embedded into the program are designed to increase student attendance and improve attitudes towards learning.
About Commerce BankCommerce Bank's commitment to "We Make It Happen" reflects the bank's dedication to the growth and success of the customers and community it serves. Commerce Bank is a member of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), a $12.2 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 189 facilities and 288 ATMs serving 89 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. International Bancshares Corporation was ranked 22nd on Forbes' prestigious list of 100 Best Banks in America in 2019. Commerce Bank has been serving the Laredo community since 1982 with a retail branch network of four locations. MEMBER FDIC / INTERNATIONAL BANCSHARES CORPORATION. Follow our Facebook page, @IBCBankWeDoMore. More information is available at ibc.com.