Meet the Neighbors Sissy Gregg and Brynne Trible with Girls on the Run G Interview by Aimée O’Grady irls on the Run, a national organization with local chapters aimed at empowering girls, is coming to the Virginia Piedmont. Girls on the Run’s mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using fun, experienced-based curriculum that creatively integrates running into the program. Girls on the Run 5K, you may find you have learned a little bit about yourself, too. What is the Girls on the Run Program? Running Buddy years ago! What is your goal for the scheduled launch of this program in the fall of 2014? SG: It is a 10- to 12-week before or after school program for girls in third to fifth grade. It includes a 24-lesson curriculum covering such topics as self care, self-awareness, bullying, gossiping, peer pressure, empowerment, teams, and knowing yourself. At the end of the program, the teams organize a community service project that they come up with on their own. Finally, there is a celebratory 5K run/walk. What made you become involved with program? SG: The program is coming to Fauquier, Culpeper, and Rappahannock counties, which is pretty huge. Ideally, I would like to have at least two teams (between eight and fifteen girls each) established. After the first season, we’ll regroup, see what worked and what needs improvement, make any necessary changes, and go from there. Is there a fee for the program? The closest chapters in our region are located in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, and Washington, DC. After speaking with Virginia Piedmont organizers Sissy Gregg and Brynne Trible, I learned that establishing this program is more of a marathon than a sprint. The groundwork has been laid, and the team is getting set to launch the program in Northern Virginia in the fall of 2014. As you set personal goals for 2014, you may want to consider helping young girls in our area realize their full potential. And who knows – perhaps when you reach the end of your first SG: GOTR speaks to my heart. I went to school for education and love fitness and health. The mission and vision spoke directly to me. BT: This is a program that I would have benefited from as a young girl. I liked the way the program broke down barriers. It helped me see that every girl has their own spark to give to the world, and we put out each other’s fires. GOTR levels the playing field. It was a very touching moment when I was asked to be a running buddy for a young girl. What is a Running Buddy? SG: Yes, there is a fee for the program that we are still working out. The fee helps run the program, the curriculum, the 5K, medals and t-shirts. All of the leadership roles are volunteers, though. We are in the process of creating a scholarship program to help girls participate that can’t because of the fee. We welcome businesses and other organizations to help by sponsoring girls. How can the community help you? other volunteers. The great thing about this program is that both men and women can volunteer. While the head coach has to be a woman, the other roles can be either men or women. And the junior assistant coach can be as young as 16. This program fulfills community service hours for high school. Even businesses can get involved by sponsoring girls who wish to participate. Any closing thoughts? BT: It is an invitation that each of the girls extends at the end of the program to someone that has been influential in their life. This includes any of the GOTR volunteers, family, or close friend. I felt honored to be a BT: We need people. There are so many volunteer opportunities involved, from the back-end to coaches. Behind the scenes, we need bookkeepers, important administrative roles, social media experts, and people to perform background checks, to name just a few. Once the program is launched, we need head coaches, assistant coaches, junior assistant coaches and SG: It’s important to remember that everyone from participant to volunteer gets something out of this program. Head coaches, as well as the girls, and everyone in between are required to stop using negative language. Every negative statement needs to be turned around. Once you start paying attention, it’s amazing how often these phrases are used. When you leave a class, everyone is encouraged about who they are. This program helps everyone shine a light on themselves and the community around them. For more information contact Sissy Gregg at 540-724-1424 or sissy. Like us on Facebook: Girls on the Run Piedmont 22 Piedmont Family Magazine 2013 • Issue 6