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Hayward Unified Is Host District for Million Fathers March
Posted 9/15/22

The Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) is participating in this year’s Million Fathers March, a national event that provides an opportunity for fathers and other male role models to highlight their commitment to the educational lives of their children.

Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, coaches, mentors and others will be encouraged to accompany their children to school that morning on September 16. This year's event theme is “Real Dads Read.”

Schools across the district will participate. Schafer Park Elementary School will roll out a red carpet for fathers and feature guest readers in classrooms. 

The annual event is sponsored by the Chicago-based Black Star Project, which lists 700 cities around the world as participants this year. It was originally started to encourage black fathers to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children. It has now grown to include parents of any gender and ethnic identification. 

The Black Star Project’s research has found that children whose fathers take an active role in their education earn better grades and are more likely to graduate high school and attend college. Additionally, children whose fathers listen to and talk with them regularly, and are active in their lives, have fewer behavior problems.

“Fathers are the missing force in education that can make America great again! If we cannot effectively educate our children, we cannot properly protect our country or our quality of life in America,” says Phillip Jackson, executive director of The Black Star Project.

Thousands of schools across the country will participate in the MFM, with an estimated one million men expected to take part. Businesses are asked to give employees the flexibility to take their children to school that morning. 

Hayward’s support of the Million Fathers March goes back a decade and is part of a broader district effort to support male engagement in our schools. 

Cafe Dad is an HUSD program supported with training and funding by the First 5 Alameda County Fathers Corps program. The program is designed to increase involvement of fathers in their children's lives by focusing on factors specific to the needs of men and the challenges they face in fulfilling their role as fathers. Cafe Dad meets once a month. Fathers can obtain more information about HUSD's fatherhood program at www.husd.k12.ca.us/fathers.