State Farm Insurance has awarded a $2,500 Good Neighbor Citizenship grant to Leadership Sandy Springs to provide scholarships for the Safe Teen Georgia driver education program.

State law mandates that 16-year olds pass a formal driver education class to apply for a driver’s license. But most high schools no longer offer driver’s ed, and many families cannot afford private instruction.

Members of the 2007 Leadership Sandy Springs class worked with the Marietta-based Safe America Foundation, the Sandy Springs Police Department and the Church of the Apostles to bring the Safe Teen Georgia classes to the city. Safe America will coordinate the classes, and Sandy Springs police officers will serve as driving instructors.

Need-based full and partial scholarships are available to offset the cost. Visit safeamerica.org or ourcac.org for information on how to apply.

Program graduates can earn a $150 tax credit and a discount of 10 percent or more on their auto insurance.

“It is critically important for young drivers to understand the dynamics of a moving vehicle and potential consequences of being unprepared,” Officer Scott Jamison said.

Sandy Springs Toyota is providing vehicles for the program.

Fran Farias, a Sandy Springs State Farm agent and Leadership Sandy Springs alum, was instrumental in helping the 2007 class apply for the grant from the Good Neighbor grant.