Cafe Dad: Empowering Fathers for Success in Hayward Schools

Cafe Dad is part of the Hayward Unified School District’s (HUSD) Fatherhood Initiative, where fathers and father figures meet to learn about resources and topics focused on fatherhood and helping their children succeed in school. They meet every month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. at different locations in Hayward. 

The meeting was held on Sept. 14 to help fathers and father figures learn how to prepare their children for success. Family engagement specialists Eduardo Picazo and John Maris lead the monthly meetings with workshops and events to help engage fathers in their children’s lives. 

“HUSD has been involved with encouraging fathers to participate in students’ academic life and career,” said family engagement specialist Eduardo Picazo. 

“Mom is usually the first point of contact. If fathers feel welcome at school, we believe students would be more successful if fathers were involved with student events and participation. That’s why the school district started this program,” continued Picazo. 

Cafe Dad holds workshops for fathers to learn financial literacy, investing, helping with legal support, and helping empower dads in different ways. The Cafe Dad also holds events for fathers to spend time with their children, like miniature golfing, bowling, or going to the movie theater. The program has also become a safe space and support system for fathers. 

“What we do is we try to create a safe space for fathers to come and discuss topics that are relevant to them,” said family engagement specialist John Masis. 

The next meeting for Cafe Dad will be held on Oct. 12, where they will be discussing bullying prevention and digital safety. Fathers are welcome from outside of the HUSD if they would like to benefit and learn from the workshops of Cafe Dad.

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