Southwest Airlines Pilots Volunteer To Share The Spirit Of Learning





Southwest Airlines Pilots Volunteer To Share The Spirit Of Learning

By Mike Mitchell

January 15, 2010 - What do you want to be when you grow up? Perhaps Pilot is one of the answers. For many students across the country that might be closer than they dream. Southwest Airlines today announces the official takeoff of its award winning, Educational and Mentoring program, Adopt-A-Pilot!  

From January through May, fifth-grade students in more than 1,200 classes across the country will "adopt" Southwest Airlines Pilots through a program that leads students through science, geography, math, writing, and other core subjects, all based in aviation-related activities. Students also will research careers, develop life values, and realize the importance of staying in school.  


"Our pledge to our communities extends farther than our service at the airport, it's the total involvement of our Employees to empower the participants to learn and understand they can be all they want to be in life through education," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest's Vice President of Communications and Strategic Outreach.   

Nearly 800 Southwest Pilots are volunteering in this year's Adopt-A-Pilot program. During the four-week long curriculum, Pilots volunteer their time in participating classrooms and correspond from the "road" via e-mail and postcards. Classrooms chart the Pilot's course on an official United States route map and complete lessons related to the Pilot's monthly flying schedule.  

Created in 1997, Adopt-A-Pilot started as a small community outreach program in just 50 classrooms in Southwest's destination cities, to reach more than 1,200 classrooms in large and small-town communities nationwide. Southwest Airlines developed the program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the Smithsonian Institution of National Air and Space Museum. National leaders such as Gen. Colin Powell, President Bill Clinton, and First Lady Laura Bush have recognized the excellence that the Adopt-A-Pilot program offers students.  

"We are proud to have so many of our Pilots committed to sharing their knowledge and experiences with tens of thousands of participants nationwide through the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot program," added Chuck Magill, Southwest's Vice President of Flight Operations.  

Beyond the program's core mentorship and curriculum-based activities, Adopt-A-Pilot includes many other innovative learning opportunities. To learn more about the program visit 

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 68 cities in 35 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has nearly than 35,000 Employees.

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