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The world is a big place – and even bigger when you’re in middle school. International Towne allows students to run the world (16 countries), helping them put into perspective important concepts such as tariffs, supply and demand, and the cultures, languages, and foods of other countries. Each country has clothing specific to that region that students wear along with artifacts they can learn about as well. Not only that, but the students get to learn about these concepts in a fun, engaging way that helps put their knowledge into action.
Debra Rivera, a Denver Center for International Studies sixth-grade teacher who has taught the curriculum for three years, told Young Americans Center staff about the impact this program has on her students. “This is our middle school’s most fun field trip. They get hands-on learning alongside their schoolwork and are able to really experience leadership roles.” During their culminating day-in-Towne, many will experience the role of President, Finance Minister, or Customs Agent for their country. For their world to run smoothly, everyone must do their part.
Teamwork and speaking in front of peers are other skills students improve through this program. Working as a team for their country, students strive to selling enough products to have a positive balance of payments. John Caverly, a sixth-grade teacher at Farrel B. Howell and newcomer to the International Towne curriculum, said how the program “exposes [the students] to a lot of concepts they wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. They also gain experience getting in front of their whole class for group presentations.” At International Towne, the typically shy and quiet students can practice public speaking in a role-playing, fun way, easing some of the typical nerves.
The U.S. Bank Foundation provides all students with access to this impactful education through their generous $10,000 Send-a-School grant, ensuring no school is turned away due to lack of funding. Thank you, U.S. Bank Foundation, for being a partner of Young Americans Center for Financial Education for the past 11 years and for helping to bring this unforgettable experience to the students of Colorado!