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Open house Tuesday for Girls on the Run
Program combines training, education
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: Girls on the Run North Georgia Open House

* When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Academy Sports on Peachtree Parkway; 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. at the High Intensity Training Center, 2850 Old Atlanta Road

* Cost: Free

* Note: Those wishing to attend the 3 to 4 p.m. session need to register online at

FORSYTH COUNTY — A nonprofit that helps young girls find self-confidence through running is holding an open house Tuesday.

Girls on the Run North Georgia, a 12-week program for girls in third through fifth grades, combines training for a 5K race with education and interactive discussions about critical issues that affect pre-teen girls as they reach adolescence.

Trained volunteer coaches teach life lessons to girls through “fun and clever running games and workouts,” said Cathie Brugnoli, the program’s executive director.

“This is the first time we’ve had an open house event like this,” Brugnoli said. “The reason we’re doing it now is Girls on the Run rotates through curriculum for all seasons. In the past, we’ve had two curriculums so we would do one in the fall and one in the spring.

“This is a brand-new third curriculum that we’re introducing, so that’s why we thought it would be even more important to put out there to parents … although it definitely goes in line with our existing curriculums.”

The open house will be comprised of three different opportunities for girls and their families, as well as adults who may be interested in volunteering with the program.

The first will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Academy Sports in The Collection on Peachtree Parkway.

“We’ll just be there answering general questions,” Brugnoli said.

The second event will also provide a change for those interested in the program to ask questions. It’s set for 1 to 3 p.m. at the High Intensity Center, 2850 Old Atlanta Road, where the Girls on the Run program is headquartered.

Then from 3 to 4 p.m., girls, their families and adults interested in volunteering can “come in and sit in through a sample lesson,” Brugnoli said.

“What’s wonderful about that is parents can sit in … so they can get the lesson through their children’s eyes,” she said.

The first two events are drop-ins with no advanced registration required. However, those wishing to take part in the sample lesson from 3 to 4 p.m. are asked to sign up in advance at

Brugnoli said she’s excited for the open house and hopes plenty of people will come by to learn more about the program, which last year reached some 800 girls in Forsyth County.

“It’s always great for us to engage with our community,” she said. “Our community is what has made Girls on the Run so successful here in north Georgia … so anytime we can engage with our community, it’s such a positive experience.”

Registration for this fall’s program, which will begin Aug. 25 and end with a 5K celebration Nov. 9, is under way.

Girls on the Run North Georgia offers nearly 40 session locations, stretching east from Cherokee County to Oconee County and points northward.

“It’s great for us to be able to serve the less-populated communities as well as here in Forsyth County,” said Brugnoli, adding that anyone from any north Georgia county is welcome to attend the open house.