So, what happens after school? Where can the children go to be safe, active and engaged in a learning environment that does not feel like a chore, but an opportunity to grow, prepare and develop healthy habits? All school districts tend to either make an effort to create a program for those students that need a place to be as their parents work past the 2 or 3 pm bell schedule, and many more contract with after school providers whose sole focus is to create a program that will at minimum engage the students in fun activities and at their best, create a multi-teared program that will try and reach and teach the students using what they learned during the school hours.

Target Excellence’s Executive Director and Founder, Keith Herron, has been using his engineering background to create a space that allows children in Sacramento to experiment and experience opportunities otherwise not available to them. Mr. Herron’s background as a civil engineer has helped him create opportunities that are researched and executed with the precision of an engineer and the heart of a community leader bent on making communities a better place for all the children in the schools his program Target Excellence, has been welcomed and the children and parents are the first to tell you how much they gain from it. A board member from Sacramento City Schools mentioned that he wished the program was available when he was going to school there.

Target Excellence is making sure that those children under its care learn healthy food habits, make their homework priority, and most importantly learn to handle and manage stress. Target Excellence is staffed by folks from the community and this helps the community create a sustainable set of skills that can create permanent change by developing the one thing that is generally lacking; parent and community engagement. The parents of the children are an important asset that Target Excellence cultivates through the moments they have with their children and when they pick them up after the program ends. These children will tell you that they love the program because they have adults the care and a program that has been designed for them, for he pursuit of their happiness. Now in its 24th year, Target Excellence has shown that it is sustainable and like other non-profits working to provide opportunities and enrichment for children and their caregivers, they are facing financial challenges that will make it more difficult to execute the promise of caring support. In an effort to sustain and expand the programs Mr. Herron is always looking for opportunities to shine the light on these children, their parents, and the schools that have embraced the program. The results are undeniable, just ask the children.

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