Odyssey is a year long Program in Greek Language and Culture offered by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, for the children, young adults and adult members of the parish and of the Greater Lansing community.
The program runs from September to May. Every school year officially begins the last Friday of August with registration. The Parent Orientation Meeting takes place at 4.30 on Friday after the Labor Day. The Agiasmos occurs at 4.30 on Friday after Labor Day, right before the beginning of first class.
The existence and success of Odyssey are due to the Holy Trinity community - the children, parents and adults enrolled in the program, those who support the social and fund-raising events, the instructional staff, and the School Board that oversees Odyssey. Also the Odyssey Program has the continuous support of the Parish Council of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, AHEPA and Philoptochos. Every year positive changes are implemented to make this a rewarding, fun and successful learning experience for all.
For more information about Odyssey, please navigate other areas of this website or call Zana Litos, PhD, Odyssey Program Director, at (517) 349-2966 or the Church Office at 517-482-7341.
Principal Objectives of Odyssey
- To develop interest in Hellenism and an awareness of the Cultures and heritages of countries in which Orthodoxy has had a major role. Emphasis will be on Eastern European, Mediterranean countries, and the Middle East, their geography, history, tradition and customs.
- To develop interest and skills in the Greek Language. Emphasis will initially be on the development of conversational skills; reading and writing skills are subsequently introduced.
- To develop Odyssey into an articulated sequential, annual program granting the participants structural continuity.
Important Features of Odyssey:
- Odyssey offers classes at different levels, ranging from pre-school through adult.
- The Program runs from September to May, 28 weeks for children and 30 for adults.
- Days off are coordinated with the schedule of Lansing area's public schools.
- Classes meet for two hours once a week.
- Participants are grouped by age and skill levels.
- The teachers are fluent in Greek and with extensive experience teaching Greek as a Second Language
- Priority foci are the conversational skills
- Odyssey offers scholarships to students for summer programs in different part of Greece, to study language and culture.
- Odyssey offers scholarships to teachers for language or cultural training/seminars in US or universities in Greece.
- Children participate in special cultural events each semester. These performances include Music, Poetry, Essays, Theater, Folk Dancing, Painting and Art crafts or Exhibitions
- Adult classes focus language skills and discussion on historical, geographical cultural and religious aspects of Greek civilization combined with such visual materials as videos, movies, etc.
- Registration forms are mailed during summer or in August for the upcoming school year.
- Greek Traditional Dancing classes are available for adults and young students
History of Odyssey
“Odyssey : A Program in Culture and Greek Language” emerged from two major forces- the interest of the Holy Trinity Community and the mandate of the “Uniform Parish Regulations,” the bylaws of the Greek Archdiocese of America. The Parish Council responded to the interest in 1996 and approved the establishment of the Odyssey Program, authorizing it to: set up a School Board that included parents from the parish and at least one member of the Council, interview and employ qualified teachers, and set a tuition schedule that would help make Odyssey self-funded. The first year the children were tutored in Greek language in their homes. Very soon Odyssey reached out to the college community and formed an alliance with students attending Michigan State University, and specifically with CYGRA (Cypriot-Greek American Association). Today these students teach language, culture and music. Also, Odyssey students participate every year successfully in such cultural activities of MSU as Global Festival and International Night. Odyssey not only satisfied the conditions at that time, but it continues to comply with them. Currently the Program has reached the point of being almost completely self-funded, receiving only a portion of its operational funding from the Council. From offering classes only for children at the beginning, now Odyssey goes beyond that, to reach adults and present programs to the community as a whole. This program is still evolving and continues to grow yearly to meet the needs of the community. Recently Odyssey started successfully offering for the first time a new feature: Greek Traditional Dancing Classes. This class is offered for adults or young students.
Language Classes for Children
Classes are organized based on age and level of proficiency. Modern instructional methodologies are used. Students have access to the internet and a variety of CD-rom, language games and other visual materials. The text books are provided by the program. Students are encouraged to speak Greek from the early level.
Language Classes for Adults
Classes are organized based on the level of proficiency. The primary focus is the conversational skills. Reading and writing akills are designed to help the conversational component. The adult students are responsible for purchasing instructional material; the program offers the books with a considerable discount. The books are published by a specialized team of Greek university professors. In addition, a large variety of visual material such as video documentaries, movies, cd-roms, music is incorporated in class. Adult students have access to the internet. Adult students are encouraged to speak Greek from the beginning.
School Year Calendar
Orthodox Cultural Activities
A series of performances and activities are organized for promoting Hellenism, Orthodoxy and Greek tradition.
a) Orthodox Cultural Performances:
- OXI Day Performance
- Independence Day Performance
- Easter Performance
- Christmas Performance
b) Party and Hellenic Cultural Evening:
- Global Festival MSU
- Christmas Party
- Carnival Party
- Field trip to Chicago Hellenic Museum (chaperoned by teachers & parents)
- Hellenic Night with Ahepa
- Fall Rummage Sale
- Spring Rummage Sale
- Oxi Day Luncheon
- Independence Day Luncheon
- Christmas Tea
- Two Coffee hours or even more