From Girls Incorporated of Lynn –
The Odyssey after school program provides academic and social support for girls in grades six through eight. With the overarching theme of embarking on a journey and charting new territory, Odyssey serves girls of diverse backgrounds to build their different strengths; meet their various needs; offer a safe, stimulating common meeting place; provide a range of resources and support; nurture their dreams; and guide them in their development and decision making at this crucial, wonder-full, challenging time in their lives. The goal of the Odyssey program is to empower girls ages 11-14 with the knowledge, skills and attitude to achieve academic success, make healthy decisions and develop positive relationships with adults and peers.
The Odyssey program hours are after school until 6:00 PM, Monday-Friday. Odyssey offers three seasonal 10-12 week sessions. The fall sessions runs from October –December, the winter runs from January-March and the spring session runs from April-mid June.
In meeting the needs and interests of the whole girl, Odyssey offers several components: informal time activities, structured enrichment programming, academic support and mentoring. In addition to these components, regular field trips and special events are held throughout the year along with bimonthly family nights.
Informal time activities are offered each afternoon in Odyssey as way to help the girls decompress and socialize after a busy day in school by playing board games, using computers, talking with each other and the staff, listening to music and playing the Wii.
Structured enrichment programs are informal educational programs that meet weekly offering hands-on, minds-on activities designed to increase knowledge, build skills and positively affect attitudes in one or more of Girls Inc. programming core service areas: Academic Enrichment and Support, Healthy Living and Life Skills.
Academic support includes homework help, access to resources such as the Internet, tutoring and skills building workshops. High school aged peer tutors, volunteers and staff members are available to provide one on one tutoring and homework assistance as needed. The skills building works provide the opportunity for girls to learn and practice critical skills needed for academic success such as study skills, organizational skills and note taking.
The middle school mentoring program uses a group mentoring model which matches one adult mentor with four Odyssey members. The mentor and mentees meet once a week for an hour and a half to participate in a range of recreational and life skill building activities. The specific goals of the middle school mentoring programs are to improve girls’ attitude towards school, increase social skills and to help girls feel supported.
Field trips and special events include visits to science and art museums, outdoor adventure activities such as canoeing, camping, ropes course, mini-golf, roller skating and celebrations such as Day of the Girl, Girls & Women in Sports Day at Salem State University and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, yes there is theme.
Family Nights are offered every other month, family nights promote family connectedness as the girls and their families participate in fun activities such as games night, cooking challenges, talent shows and arts & crafts. Family Nights also strengthen the connection between the girls and their families and the program.