In 1995, City Councilperson and former teacher Jackie Goldberg joined with educator/activist Sharon Stricker, and a small group of passionate volunteers to create the L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs. The goals were twofold: to make sure the boys and girls who attended the under-funded public middle schools in troubled Hollywood neighborhoods had a safe and fun place to be after school, and to improve the educational environment and opportunities available to the students. Since visual arts, theater, music and dance had been severely reduced in the public school curriculum, they made it a priority to have arts-based classes, along with much-needed academic and recreational activities available after school, every day, for every student.
L.A.C.E.R.'s program is a comprehensive after school program that integrates arts, sports, and recreation activities into an academic learning environment focused on keeping kids in school and preparing them for graduation. Now serving over 2,900 students at four middle schools and two high schools, L.A.C.E.R.'s award-winning program is embraced by students, parents and teachers alike, and is proven effective in improving students' grades, developing standards-based arts skills, and building character, responsibility, and leadership abilities.