Odyssey provides academic and social support for girls in grades 6 to 8 throughout the school year, 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, provide a range of resources and support, and nurture their dreams. We offer a safe, stimulating place that guides them in their development and decision making at this crucial, wonder-full, challenging time in their lives.
The program hours are after school until 6:00pm, Monday-Friday. Odyssey offers three seasonal 10-12 week sessions. The fall session runs from October –December, the winter session runs from January-March and the spring session runs from April-mid June.
In meeting the needs and interests of girls, 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 relax and socialize after a busy day in school. They play board games, use computers, talk with each other and staff, listen to music and play the Wii.
Structured enrichment programs are informal educational group programs that meet weekly, offering hands-on, minds-on activities designed to increase knowledge, build skills and positively affect girls’ attitudes. Girls Inc. programming promotes healthy living, academic enrichment/support and life skills.
Academic support includes homework help, access to resources such as the Internet, tutoring and skill 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 skill building workshops provide opportunities for girls to learn and practice critical skills needed for academic success, such as study and organizational skills (i.e 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 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 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 ThinkFest at Merrimack College and Girls & Women in Sports Day at Salem State University.
Family Nights promote family connectedness as the girls and their families participate in fun activities, including game nights, cooking challenges, talent shows and arts & crafts.
Operation SMART (Science, Math And Relevant Technology) is an informal educational program started by Girls Incorporated (formerly Girls Clubs of America) in 1985 to stimulate girls’ interest in science, math and technology. It stresses hands-on, participatory activities in informal settings.
In June, Girls Inc. of Lynn hosts a SMART Girls Summit. The SMART (Science, Math And Relevant Technology) Girls Summit is aimed at increasing girls’ interest and participation in science, math and technology, while also building their awareness of the wide range of career options available to them in these fields. Girls may be excused from school to attend the summit which takes place from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
During the morning, girls attend several workshops, such as: learning to identify a bug on a web page & fixing the bug using HTML code, oil spill engineering, internet safety and financial literacy.
The workshops show girls that math, science and technology can be fun and exciting through hands-on experiments and “Aha!” moments. The workshops are facilitated by successful women throughout the region. RSA, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., MetLife, Millipore Corporation and GE are some of the recently represented businesses.