60 years ago

Child worker warning comes from school: Warning was sounded this week by Darrel Smith, superintendent of the Brentwood Elementary School, that minors under the age of 16 years cannot be employed during school hours. Several cases have come to light since the fall term opened, of children working in tomatoes and nuts, and Smith cited the state law which is strict in its provisions.

Parents of children may be arrested and face fines of $10 for the first offense and up to $50 for succeeding offenses, as well as alternative jail sentences. Labor contractors, or private employers, or the officers of firms face fine from $5 to $250 and stiffer jail sentences. The law provides that minors, even when granted permits, may work only eight hours daily, including the time they are in school. This mean that they would be available for outside work only three hours a day.

25 years ago

New teacher runs cheery classroom: In the far corner, Cheryl Lemak is sitting on the floor with a large basket full of unifix cubes in her first grade classroom. In a calm voice she says, "Read it to me Eric," then she adds "If you can read it to me in the right order I'll give you three more cubes." Cautiously Eric responds, red, green, blue."

Pleased with the response Lemak hands three more cubes to the student. Immediately 12 sets of little hands quickly put unifix cubes together with a definite pattern. Students hands were moving quickly and before you knew it everyone had a "perfect train" of unifix cubes.

Lemak is in her first year of teaching at Brentwood School.


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When asked how her first three weeks of school went she said, "Really busy. It takes about 12 hours a day in the beginning. Things should ease up soon. I've found the staff to be incredibly supportive here. Everyone is so open."

Lemak is a graduate of the University of California at Davis where she received her bachelor of arts degree and teaching credential. She spent two years teaching in Dixon at a job-sharing position.

-- Brentwood News files She is at present working on her master's degree. In her spare time, Lemak enjoys water skiing, dancing and running. She lives in Walnut Creek.

The students in room 5 have a positive environment. When one looks around the room they find a "Teddy Bears Make the Best Friends" bulletin board with courtesy rules to follow. "Oh A Camping We Will Go" board with student-made sleeping bags. On the back wall is a giant poster that says "Look Who's Special" with all the students names on it.

-- Brentwood News files