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GALLERY: Traveling to school ... safely

Ethan's preschool and beginnergarten students wait in line with their new helmets before starting the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. All kids from preschool to fourth grade were given new helmets, taught bicycle safety and walking safety as part of the South Dakota Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School program. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)1 / 18
Riley Kobes, 5, right, and Sophie Henrickson, 5, preschoolers at Ethan wait at the finish line for bikes before starting the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)2 / 18
Jadyn Henglefelt, 7, a first-grader at Ethan Public School waits her turn before starting the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)3 / 18
Jayden Bowman, 7, a first-grader at Ethan waits at the starting line of the obstacle course of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. Students had to navigate their bicycles through a replicated train crossing, crosswalk, stop light and a corner in the parking lot of the school. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)4 / 18
Ethan students wait in line for the start of the bicycle obstacle course Tuesday during the school bike safety rodeo at the school. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)5 / 18
Makayla Sonne, 7, a second-grader at Ethan Public School races back to the finish line of the bicycle obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo in Ethan Tuesday. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)6 / 18
Rylan Gerlach, 8, a second-grader at Ethan Public School closes his eyes as preschool teacher Jen Klumb secures his helmet during the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)7 / 18
Jayden Bowman, 7, left, waits at the starting line of the obstacle course with Jadyn Henglefelt, 7, right, both first graders at Ethan Public School. Students had to navigate their bicycles through a replicated train crossing, crosswalk, stop light and a corner in the parking lot of the school. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)8 / 18
Ava Lingemann, 8, a second-grader at Ethan Public School leads a pack of bicyclists after stopping at the cross walk area of the obstacle course during the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)9 / 18
Jayden Bowman, 7, a first-grader at Ethan waits at the starting line of the obstacle course of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. Students had to navigate their bicycles through a replicated train crossing, crosswalk, stop light and a corner in the parking lot of the school. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)10 / 18
Ashley Clauson, 7, right, rides her bike to the starting line of the obstacle course behind Jadyn Henglefelt, 7, left, both first-graders, Tuesday in Ethan. Students had to navigate their bicycles through a replicated train crossing, crosswalk, stop light and a corner in the parking lot of the school. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)11 / 18
Veronica Johnson, 7, a first-grader at Ethan grips the handle of a Barbie bike before while waiting to start the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)12 / 18
Davison County Deputy Sheriff Josh Peterson watches as Madi Raymond, 7, a first-grader at Ethan Public School starts the obstacle course at the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)13 / 18
Alyssia Linn, 6, a kindergartener at Ethan School, waits at the starting line of the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)14 / 18
Sophie Henrickson, 5, a preschooler at Ethan waits at the finish line for a bike before starting the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)15 / 18
Lacee Donaldson, 6, a kindergartener at Ethan Public School, laughs as preschool teacher Jen Klumb secures her helmet during the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)16 / 18
Gabe Neugebauer, 7, a first-grader at Ethan puts his helmet on while Jayden Bowman, 7, holds his bike before the start of the obstacle course during the bike safety rodeo Tuesday in Ethan. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)17 / 18
Ethan Public School preschool and beginnergarten kids wait in line with their new helmets before going outside to start the obstacle course portion of the bike safety rodeo in Ethan Tuesday. All kids from preschool to fourth grade were given new helmets, taught bicycle safety and walking safety as part of the South Dakota Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School grant. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)18 / 18

ETHAN -- Preschool through fourth-grade students in Ethan spent Tuesday morning learning how to safely get to school during a bicycle safety rodeo.

The event, which encourages students to walk or bicycle to school, is part of South Dakota's Safe Routes to School program, created by the U.S. Congress as part of a federal transportation bill. The reason for the program is to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes.

The three-hour event Tuesday fitted all students with a new helmet, taught students how to safely cross the street and also had a question-answer session with Davison County Sheriff Deputy Josh Peterson.

The final event had students navigate through an obstacle course on a bicycle in the parking lot of Ethan's school. The course had a simulated train track area and a pedestrian crosswalk.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation, which selected Ethan for the event, funded new helmets to each student. One boy and one girl from each class received a bike, totaling 10 bikes, given out by drawing.

Ethan received a $33,000 for the program and plans to use some of the funds for future safety events.

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