86 AW leadership visits German kindergarten

U.S. Air Force Col. Denny Davies, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, reads to German children at Villa Winzig, a kindergarten in Kaiserslautern, Nov. 4. The 86 AW partners with Villa Winzig to create a community engagement program where Airmen read stories to the children and help build local community relations.

U.S. Air Force Col. Denny Davies, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, visited Villa Winzig, a German kindergarten in Kaiserslautern as part of a community engagement program, Nov. 4.

Airmen from Ramstein Air Base volunteer in the program to interact with and read English books to German-speaking children at the kindergarten.

“It was great,” Davies said. “Any opportunity to integrate our German and American communities only enhances our relationship together in Rheinland-Pfalz.”

The reading is part of a grass root program run by the 86 AW Public Affairs Office. The program started in 2009 as a way to implement English language training for the children while also providing a unique way for Airmen to engage with the community.

Due to COVID the program was temporarily paused, but with restrictions lifted has now resumed.

“Once a month, two Airmen volunteer to participate in the program and read with the children for about an hour,” explained Anna Schindler, host nation advisor. “Ramstein’s host nation office reaches out to base personnel to build U.S. and German relations and get Airmen more involved in the community.”

German children listen to an English book reading at Villa Winzig kindergarten in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Nov. 4, 2021. Airmen volunteer in a community engagement program to interact with the local community and promote positive U.S. and German relations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)