Wharton Students Take Flight

HOUSTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Southwest Airlines rolled out the red carpet today for fifth-grade “stars” from C.W. Dawson Elementary in Wharton, Texas, who won the national Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot “What`s Your Destination?” video contest. As a reward, the class enjoyed a special airport send-off before traveling to San Antonio for a daylong educational field trip.
Dawson`s winning class of 28 students was one of more than 450 schools and 15,000 participants in the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot program this year—a mentorship program where pilots lead students in science, math, geography, and other curriculum-based activities. Reinforcing the program`s school-to-career theme, the “What`s Your Destination?” video contest invited students to script, direct, and perform their own three-minute video depicting careers each student hopes to pursue some day.
Out of more than 100 contest entries nationwide, the video produced by teacher Janice Harris` class earned the grand prize “Captain`s Award.” Students, chaperones, and educators gathered for a “premiere” send-off at Houston Hobby, which included the debut of the award-winning video and the reading of a proclamation by Texas State Sen. Armbrister commemorating the event.
Once in San Antonio, the class relived history at the Institute of Texan Cultures, sampled traditional foods with lunch on the river, and dove into marine biology during a behind-the-scenes educational tour of Sea World San Antonio. For many of these students from Wharton`s community of 9,500, this was their first experience flying.
“We were impressed with the outstanding teamwork and creativity of Mrs. Harris` class,” said Linda Hochster, Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot program director. “Their video demonstrated what is at the heart of the Adopt-A-Pilot program: the will to pursue dreams, make education count, make a difference in the community, and have fun learning.”
Southwest Airlines, now the nation`s fourth largest carrier in terms of Customer boardings, serves 59 airports in 58 cities in 30 states. The airline currently has more than 4,000 Pilots and operates nearly 2,800 flights a day.