Kenosha 5th graders get behind-the-scenes tour with a pilot

MILWAUKEE -- Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes at an airport?  On Tuesday, a group of fifth graders from Harvey Elementary School in Kenosha got to learn that and more with a special trip to Mitchell International Airport.

The trip was made possible by Southwest Airlines'"Adopt-a-Pilot" program.  For two months, First Officer Ken Arcoleo met with the 70 students, giving them geography lessons on where he’s flown, what opportunities exist and just about anything aviation.

“It was really exciting to find out we got to come to this,” fifth grader Grace Molter said.

“I’m excited to see everything, mostly because I've never been to an airport,” student Jaylen Wheaton.

At the airport, the students got to see all the action first-hand, like going through security, seeing how ticketing works and even watching a plane pull up on the tarmac. “It's always good to inspire young kids to open up their eyes to see what's out there, so they could set their dreams and goals. “Many of these kids have never been to an airport, many of them have never flown before, so this gives them a chance to come to an airport, see a major operation,” Arcoleo said.

Southwest Airlines has been providing the "Adopt-a-Pilot" program for the last 15 years.  This semester alone, more than 41,000 students will take part nationwide.