The TS Institute is helping improve education in Iowa by committing $1 million to financial literacy to expand financial basics in the Pottawattamie County school districts.

In recognition of TS Bank’s third consecutive year of being named the #1 ranked bank in Iowa,* TS Bank has committed to funding a portion of the TS Institute’s $1 million commitment while working alongside the TS Institute to secure the remaining funding from non-profit and private donors in the coming year.

Three years ago TS Bank committed $250,000 to the TS Institute to fund the initial phase of the program locally. A K-12 financial literacy program was launched in the Treynor School District as well as an elementary and middle school student bank were opened. In addition, a high school student bank has been opened at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs.

The new three-year grant will support the hiring of additional employees to work alongside Bob Mantell, TS Institute Director, to expand the program in Pottawattamie County. The new financial literacy coordinators will serve in a consultative role for each participating school as well as be a resource for students, parents, and community members.

“We believe it is part of our responsibility as community bankers to invest in the lives of our community members and arm individuals with the financial facts. The more educated they become, the better decisions they can make about their financial futures. And the earlier they learn it, the better!” states TS Bank President and CFO, Josh Guttau.

This unique program was developed in response to the belief that a lack of financial literacy, rather than a housing bubble or other economic variable, is the root cause of the current economic crisis.

“The TS Institute is a leader as a privately funded financial literacy program that combines local community banks with local school districts to develop a financial literacy program for the students. With the involvement of each participating school administration, the goal is for the program to surpass the Iowa Department of Education’s 21st Century skills mandates, so each student is a step ahead,” stated Bob Mantell.

The TS Institute is setting the stage for a proposed statewide expansion to begin in 2014, in which the TS Institute will invite other Iowa community banks, community leaders, private businesses, and non-profit organizations to join the cause and sponsor their local school district.

It is the hope of the TS Institute to one day have a previous student want to give back to the community as a result of the difference the TS Institute made in his or her life. The cycle of increased prosperity in a community begins with the desire to give back.

*According to the Iowa Banking Magazine among all C-Corporation Banks in Iowa in the Asset Size of $100-$250 million.