Since 1997, the award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot program has paired fifth grade classes with Southwest Airlines® Pilots across the nation to help students discover their dreams.
Each Spring, Pilots volunteer their time visiting classrooms and mentoring students, while students track their "adopted" Pilot's journey during the time that he or she is "on the road." Not only does the program educate students on popular topics such as “how does an airplane fly?”, our Leaders also emphasize the importance of education and personal goal setting.
“Adopted” Southwest Airlines Pilots visit classrooms and support teachers in reinforcing the importance of school and how the power of hard work and commitment are essential to achieving dreams. Pilots lead activities in the Adopt-A-Pilot curriculum by making lessons in Science, Geography, and Math come alive, demonstrating to students how these subjects can be applied in “real life.” “Adopted" Pilots visit their assigned classroom once per week (on average) during the four-week long program.
Along with lessons from the Adopt-A-Pilot curriculum, the program reinforces important messages such as:
- Education is important and to stay in school
- Just like parents and teachers, the community cares about each child
- Learning is fun
- Future goals are possible through planning, hard work, and determination
At no cost to the participating school, Southwest Airlines provides all the program supplies necessary to support the program. The curriculum can either be obtained online or in hard copy format, and a box of program materials will be shipped to both the teachers’ schools and the Pilots’ homes in early January. Southwest also honors each participating Pilot with a custom-designed tie to wear as a uniform piece throughout the year.
The program suggests one hour-long class visit per week for four weeks. Pilots donate additional time by way of scheduling, traveling to/ from the school, sending emails, post cards, or other correspondence from the road, and helping with other optional activities, such as field trips.
We suggest that parents speak with their child's teachers about ways to participate in the program, which may include: joining the class during the "adopted" Pilot visits; helping their child complete the course curriculum, or discussing what your child has learned in the career-based activities.
Registration is available exclusively online and runs in late summer/early fall each year. Check out southwest.com/adoptapilot for more details.
Pilots: Go to SWALife-luvculture-swacares-volunteerism-adoptapilot
If you have a teacher:
1. Create an event by searching for your school by name, city and state.
2. Select the school
3. Add Teacher information
4. Save and Submit
5. Review and Submit
6. Sign up for the event
You have successfully completed the registration process. Your teacher will not need to register.
If you do not have a teacher, you can search for an available teacher once you have logged in. If you find one, you can sign up. If not, check back frequently for any new teacher listings in your area. Or you can reach out to an elementary school in your community or go to www.greatschools.org to find options by zip code.
Teachers: If a Southwest Pilot has already approached you about participating in the program, your Pilot will complete the online registration and you will be notified through email. If you have not already been "adopted" by a Southwest Pilot, please complete the teacher registration. We will do our best to find a Southwest Pilot, unfortunately, there is no guarantee we will have an available Pilot in your community.