“I believe in the philosophy that everyone deserves a chance, and Odyssey is the chance I need to expand my horizons and learn,” Burnett Reed wrote when he applied for the Odyssey Project. A special education assistant who overcame a difficult childhood in Milwaukee, Burnett hopes to become a teacher and to inspire his five-year-old daughter, Aria.
Burnett and Aria were elated when Odyssey Junior coordinator Karen Dreyfuss dropped off gift bags containing course materials, books for both father and daughter, art supplies, an Oracle Junior featuring the writings and pictures of children from previous years, and even a teddy bear wearing a UW shirt. “She sleeps with that bear every night,” Burnett commented. This year, Odyssey Junior will use online reading, music, dance, and art classes to keep youth engaged and special deliveries to create relationships with more than 50 children ranging in age from two weeks to 17 years.
Odyssey childcare costs have skyrocketed during this pandemic because we are unable to use campus funding for the home care of young children. Instead, we are using our Family Fund to provide families with gift cards that they may use to pay neighbors, relatives and coworkers to watch their infants, toddlers and preschoolers safely while parents participate in Odyssey classes this fall. Please help us pay for this much-needed childcare with your gift today.