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Friday, December 07, 2018
IBC Bank-Houston commemorates launch of mini city for students to practice social, academic and real-world skills

(DEC. 7, 2018) HOUSTON - Today, students at Dolphinville, a mini city inside Port Houston Elementary, celebrated the grand opening of the first Minitropolisâ program in Houston. Minitropolis® 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 Minitropolisâ program prepares students for social and financial situations they will experience in adulthood," said Jay Rogers, IBC Bank-Houston CEO and chairman. "The interactive environment is an exciting, hands-on learning tool that is unique to educators in our city. We are excited to launch the first Houston Minitropolis® at Port Houston and are proud of the students and teachers who have worked hard to create Dolphinville."

IBC Bank at Dolphinville allows students a chance to earn "Dolphin Dollars" for good behavior and attendance at school, and teaches them about adult responsibilities of managing their money such as managing their balances, writing checks, making deposits and withdrawing money. In addition to IBC Bank at Dolphinville, students in pre-K through fifth grade will manage the mini city by working at Kroger, Crime Stoppers, Port Fit Gym, The Green Thumb Co., the Daytime Movie Theater, Post Office, Future Teachers and the treasury department.

"This is an engaging way for our students to learn and apply valuable financial literacy principles to everyday situations that they will carry into adulthood," said Victor Garcia, Port Houston Elementary principal. "Understanding and applying these basic principles at a young age set our students on a path for success and play an integral role in their educational growth."  

Justice Jennifer Caughey of the Texas First District Court of Appeals swore in fifth-grade students to leadership positions who were elected by their peers during the school year, including the Dolphinville mayor who ensures the city runs smoothly.

IBC Bank-Houston officers were on hand to commemorate the occasion and share their knowledge with the students. Dolphinville will be open every Friday for students to practice social, academic and real-world life skills. Incentives embedded into the program are designed to increase student attendance and improve attitudes towards learning. The Minitropolis program has generated donations and support from Port Houston Elementary's local business partners.

All students and teachers were involved in the creation and implementation of the Minitropolis® program. Pre-k and kindergarten students managed the treasury department, responsible for sorting and counting "Dolphin Dollars." First-grade students were responsible for the Post Office. During the fall semester, second-grade students held a job fair for the Dolphinville movie theater and The Green Thumb Co., a recycling company. Houston City Council members conducted interviews for third-grade students who applied to work for Dolphinville Crime Stoppers. 3rd Grade students also manage Port Fit, a local gym for students to exercise. Kroger Supplies and Kroger Market at Dolphinville is managed by fourth-grade students. Fifth-grade students applied for positions as "future teachers," who help the pre-K and kindergarten students manage the treasury department, and positions at IBC Bank at Dolphinville. IBC Bank at Dolphinville interviews were conducted by IBC Bank employees.


About IBC Bank-Houston

IBC Bank-Houston is a member of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), a $11.8 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 191 facilities, 288 ATMs serving 90 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. In 2016, IBC celebrated its 50th anniversary since it opened its doors for business in 1966. IBC Bank's slogan "We Do More" reflects the bank's dedication to the growth and success of both the customers and the communities it serves. International Bancshares was ranked 19th on Forbes' prestigious list of 100 Best Banks in America in 2018. IBC Bank-Houston has been serving the area since 1997 and has a retail branch network of 14 locations. MEMBER FDIC / INTERNATIONAL BANCSHARES CORPORATION. Follow our Facebook page, @IBCBankWeDoMore. More information is available at ibc.com.

Shayla White
IBC Bank-Houston
Maddie Dunn
KGBTexas communications
(713) 314-6211