LACER has been awarded an $18,498.86 grant to purchase musical instruments for the music component of their arts and literacy-based after-school program. LACER’s goal is the improvement of the educational environment and opportunities for 10-18 year olds in under-funded schools in the Hollywood area and they are currently in 4 high schools and 2 middle schools. They provide a safe haven from surrounding gang activity by offering free arts classes, after school homework assistance, math and reading programs and computer classes. The music classes are aligned with State Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts and serve socially and economically at-risk youth in schools where there is a severe deficiency in arts education. Students can participate for 7 consecutive years, learning to play 2-3 instruments each, and each year ends with a culminating musical concert at an exciting venue like House of Blues, as well as various school campuses. LACER’s grant will provide 30 electric guitars, 30 acoustic guitars, 30 bass guitars, 18 drum sets and 5 keyboards. With an expanded instrument inventory, music instruction and performance opportunities will be increased. The number of students served will increase to over 360 per year, as will students’ practice time. In addition to increasing students’ music skills and performance ability, learning to play an instrument increases reading and writing proficiency and collaborative learning.