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Southwest Airlines Brings to Life a Virtual Field Trip for First Graders


In October, Mrs. Sonja White set up her classroom as a mock Southwest plane and ‘flew’ her students to Mexico (watch the video here). The video went viral, garnering love from people around the world.   


Southwest Airlines was tagged in the video, and Employees watched with great admiration for Mrs. White’s creativity and passion for inspiring her students. So, they quickly made outreach to Mrs. White to begin planning an actual field trip for her class to visit Southwest. 


Meanwhile, The Jennifer Hudson Show featured Mrs. White on their show, and in the special segment, Southwest thanked her for her dedication to her students by making a $10,000 donation to her school. In the segment, Mrs. White shares that Southwest invited all 70 first-grade students from her school to the Corporate Campus in Dallas, Texas, for a field trip.    


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The field trip began at our Dallas Maintenance Hangar. As the buses arrived, Employees, including First Officer Tayvon Snowden, welcomed and celebrated the first graders. The students toured the Hangar, learning about different aspects of airplanes and maintenance. 


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Next, they boarded a Southwest Boeing 737 MAX 8 and were greeted by Flight Attendants Matthew, Robin, and Grace. For many students, this was their first time on an airplane. The students selected seats (thanks, open seating!) and enjoyed a snack onboard. Captain Nancy, a Southwest Pilot who is a longtime participant in our signature Adopt-A-Pilot program, shared information about aviation and Southwest with the students. The group took photos in front of the aircraft and had the opportunity to watch planes take off at Dallas (Love Field) from the Hangar.


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  The kids continued their visit at the Southwest Headquarters building, where Employees had fun surprises in store, starting with two round trip tickets for anywhere that Southwest flies for the first-grade teachers and the school principal as a thank-you for supporting these future leaders.  


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The fun didn’t stop there! In their virtual field trip, Mrs. White’s class visited Mexico, so Southwest Employees hosted a fiesta for the students, complete with a mariachi band and Mexican food for lunch. 


After the class field trip at Southwest Corporate Campus, The Jennifer Hudson Show followed up with Mrs. White to hear about the fun adventures. Check out the segment here!    


Southwest is honored to have had the opportunity to create a unique aviation experience for the first-grade students, just as Mrs. White did for her class. Who knows... maybe there’s a future Southwest Employee in that group!