This summer, 51 students are receiving the essential tools and foundation to become safe drivers. Jackson Graf, head of Milbank’s driver’s education program said, “It is a difficult and demanding course.” The students spend 30 hours in the classroom. If they pass that segment of the course, they move on to twelve hours of training in a vehicle. Six of those hours are behind the wheel.
The instructors for the two sessions include Graf, Jena Schulte, and Janelle Korstjens. The classroom experience features guest speakers from the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, the Milbank Police Department, and American Family Insurance.
Graf explained that the police officers give up their time to fit both class sessions into their schedule. They focus on aspects of their own department, so the students learn about issues unique to each of the three levels of law enforcement. The students also learn about the types of insurance and how each kind works.
Graf recognized Milbank Ford for contributing to the program’s success. “Darin Mertens and his crew go above and beyond to provide us with high-quality cars that make learning to drive safer and easier. They also install the instructor brakes to help us maintain the safest possible driving situation during the behind-the-wheel portion of class. Providing these vehicles offers no financial benefit to their business.”
Food and Fuel and Milbank Ford offer car washes to keep the cars clean. Graf thanked them for giving the new drivers optimum visibility and the best driving experience. He said it was all about their generosity and willingness to help the students on their way to becoming safe drivers. He also noted it would not be possible for the businesses to support the program without the support they get from the community.
Submitted Photo: left to right- Caitlyn Frerichs, Ella Holtquist, Alexia Wanna, Sam Rick, Harley Zemlicka, Seth VanHoorn, Brody Job
and Jesus Gaona-Rethke