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Portland’s Mandarin immersion middle school subject of documentary

April 4, 2012

It’s good to remember every once in awhile that most of our MI programs are in schools with many different strands. Here’s a nice story about one such strand at Portland’s Hosford Middle School.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — For one local school principal, basketball is much more than a game.

Principal Kevin Bacon is using basketball to “iron out” social and cultural issues at Hosford Middle School in southeast Portland. It’s a sixth-through-eighth-grade school known for its global outlook and Spanish and Mandarin language immersion programs.

And now Bacon’s story is the subject of a documentary called “Lessons of Basketball and War.”

“It was kind of a blessing to know from an early age what I wanted to do,” Bacon told KOIN with a laugh. “And that, of course, was if I didn’t make it to the NBA.”

It seems like Bacon has known forever that he’d be an educator. And he is.

At Hosford Middle School, he noticed several years back that a handful of young East African refugees — from war and famine — were putting his skills to the test. These teens, in a new home in a new school and in a new country, were coming from places like war-torn Somalia. And they were finding assimilation into America difficult. As the new documentary points out, some girls still carried tribal differences with them into the the school halls.

Please read more here.

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