Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chess takes root in Central Valley farm town, blossoms into a state title for Latino boys high school team

Chess takes root in Central Valley farm town, blossoms into a state title for Latino boys high school team

Each week, at least a third of the town's families receive a bag of fruit and vegetables — and, if it's a good day, a chicken — provided by churches and food banks. In this city of 10,000, unemployment hovers around 45%.

So when a group of high school boys, each with his own world of worries and yearning and coached by a man in ill health, brought a state championship home, the reaction was joyous astonishment.

"In Mendota, we're known for the wrong things: not having water, being such a poor community. We're surrounded by abundance — we're the cantaloupe capital of the world. But still, it's dust, it's dirt, it's hard out here. And for the Mendota chess team to be the best in the state after playing affluent communities — kids with private chess tutors — it's unfathomable," he said.

Click on link for full story...worth the read =D

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