Category: Education

Build a Foundation for Our Future

Help Us Build an Educational Academy

Started in 2010, New Directions is an afterschool academic and social-emotional skill-building K-8 students from low-income backgrounds in West Chester, PA.

Prior to summer 2021, the New Directions program didn’t have a designated space. They used the theater and gym as makeshift classrooms for programming, reading time, mentoring, and social activities. 

  • Neither room provided the privacy needed for conversations between 30 students and 30 coaches. Would you want to confide that you’re having trouble in school with your best friends right next to you?
  • The program’s supplies had to be constantly shifted when the room was rented out or used by other groups. 

We Need You​

This summer, we began using the downstairs space for our Summer STEAM camp, reading coaching, mentoring, and more. The private offices make for natural private tutoring spaces. Our volunteers have cultivated a beautiful, diverse library. There is an arts and crafts corner, a college connection area, as well as a classroom. 

We see this space as the foundation of our future. Having an enriching, educational space will allow us to grow our current programming and add more down the line. 

In order to keep this space, we need to raise $50,000 by October 1st. 

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$50,000Raised $39,000 towards the $50,000 target.$39,000Raised $39,000 towards the $50,000 target.78%

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Summer Steam: Summer Fun

Summer STEAM

The Charles Melton Arts & Education Center Summer STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, & math) program is designed to immerse youth in STEAM education. The program uses STEAM education to develop and cultivate interest in the STEAM fields through hands-on learning, STEAM education, and field trips to prepare students for future STEAM education.

The kids are being exposed to new careers with hands-on learning in website development, drone technology, building design, biomedical engineering, and solar energy, with so much more. The most important lesson they’re learning, though? In the words of one of our 1st graders: “To work together and have fun!”
Thank you First Presbyterian Church of West Chester, PA and Rudy Treichel for an amazing series of engineering lessons and challenges this week!
The kids couldn't believe the egg was cooked by the sun!
Winners of the spaghetti and marshmallow tower design challenge!
"Lake Melton" challenge
Drone technology with Mr. Chris, Miss Morgan, and The Uncommon Individual Foundation - UIF.

We would like to extend our gratitude towards this amazing team of volunteers that led our New Directions Summer STEAM Camp. Thank you First Presbyterian Church of West Chester, PAThe Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary ClubWest Chester Area School District, Great Valley School District, and our community!

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MLK Day of Service

We are so grateful for the community!

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MLK Day of Service Opportunities

In honor of the 2021 MLK Day of Service, the Charles A. Melton Center invites community members to support students in our New Directions Program.

New Directions is an afterschool academic and social-emotional skill building program that provides tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment for K-8 students from low-income backgrounds in West Chester, PA. Our mission is to close the opportunity gap and to give students a place to develop leadership skills to make a difference in their community.

Contribute Supplies–Contactless Donation Drop-off

  • Donate healthy snacks in single-serve packages (i.e. granola bars, pretzels, whole grain crackers, fruit cups, raisins).
  • Donate engaging, diverse, and culturally relevant books.
  • We are offering Contactless Donation Drop-off on Monday, January 18, from 1–3pm. 501 E. Miner St West Chester, PA. Please pull into the parking parking lot through the Market St. entrance. We will collect donations from your vehicle.

Contribute Your Time–Become a volunteer!

  • New Directions welcomes qualified tutors to support our students in all subject areas.
  • We also invite community members to share about your profession, leadership experience, or commitment to social justice as a “Community Leader Reader,” guest speaker, or student mentor.

Contribute Financially!

We are in need of financial donations that will be used to make our safe, social-distanced, afterschool and summer programming possible. Donate here.

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New Directions Fall Fun and More!

Our New Directions 1:1 virtual tutoring & leadership clubs are off to a great start!

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