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It’s halfway through the day in International Towne for a group of DPS seventh-grade students. Things are bustling– the students have taken their passport photos; countries are raising and lowering their prices to meet supply and demand; and students are learning the local norms to conduct business in various countries. All is going well, that is, until a Center staff member walks in the middle of the rotunda to announce a pandemic has just hit the EuRussia region meaning it will be closed to trade and tourists until funds are raised to address the pandemic.
The finance ministers from the other countries must decide what they are going to do to help. Their options are to lend money (if so how much and at what rate), to make a donation, or to sit back and do nothing. The pressure on the minsters is high if they have an impending trade with a country within the impacted region and won’t be able to receive their imports.
If too much time passes without a resolution, then the pandemic consumes another region. Unfortunately, this was the situation with the DPS school. The students cannot come to a resolution, and PacAsia must close its borders to trade and travel as well. The remaining open countries now feel a heavy economic burden with a potential huge economic loss of customers and goods.
Finally, the finance ministers from the open regions come together with a solution – they are going to lend money but at a very favorable rate, and both EuRussia and PacAsia are reopened to trade and tourist. The ebb and flow of trade and travel is back to how it was–albeit with a bit of catching up to do.
The hands-on Daily Dilemmas is one of the important ways students learn interconnectedness within International Towne, a topic the whole world is experiencing during COVID-19. When students leave International Towne, they have gained a real-world experience in what happens in global economics when countries run smoothly or have to operate in a crisis. The program prepares students to understand what’s going on in the real world when, say, a pandemic hits and products because more scarce and/or their prices increase. These are the experiences that prepare Colorado’s youth to be ready for the real-world since they understand what’s going on around them – easing fears and uncertainties youth may have because they see that, eventually, things bounce back.
Invaluable lessons like the ones on interconnectedness and trade are only made possible through the support of the Center’s funders like Eide Bailly LLP. Eide Bailly–a regional certified public accounting (CPA) and business advisory firm–has been a supporter of the Center since 2013 and sponsors the trade section of the International Towne program. Their support has been key in ensuring students received high quality, standards-aligned, learnings paired with memories that will stay with them for life. “Preparing youth to understand the workings of trade and how the policies and practices of other countries affect the US allows them to better understand the ripple effects of a situation like a pandemic.” Shannon Lemmon, Partner, International Tax Services at Eide Bailly LLP said. “By preparing them today, they can become more resilient when tough times happen like what we’re going through now.”
Thank you, Eide Bailly LLP, for your years of support to the Center’s mission and to the youth of Colorado. Because of your support, Colorado is raising their students to have knowledge that will help them maneuver through life and become self-sufficient adults.