By Richard Bammer
The clock’s second hand sweeps past 1:15 p.m. at the Dixon Migrant Child Development Center, and it is quiet in the aging, beige-colored, single-story school with an adjacent portable classroom. The youngest of the 95 Hispanic children enrolled, infants and toddlers, they are napping.
Dark and cool, the curtains drawn to ward off bright sunlight baking the somewhat woebegone former U.S. Navy housing area on Radio Station Road, the classrooms are where the preschoolers learn simple numbers, colors, letters, basic shapes and some English during the week while their parents work the vast outlying farms from sunrise to evening, or at the nearby Campbell soup factory or at the Superior Farms lamb-processing plant, among other places. Some of the parents and their children, blankets and toys in hand, arrive at the center as early as 5 a.m.