Ramstein gives the annual Villa Winzig Tour

  • Published
  • By Airman Dylan Myers
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Chief MSgt. Louis Ludwig , 86th Airlift Wing command chief, joined students from Villa Winzig, a local German kindergarten, to read during a community outreach program at Ramstein Air Base, April 18, 2024.

The program, which is coordinated by the 86th Airlift Wing Host Nation Office on a monthly basis, aims to introduce the English language to German children at an early age while simultaneously fostering stronger relations within the local community. It serves as a bridge between the base and the surrounding area, facilitating cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

Initially conceived in 2009 as an innovative means for members of Ramstein AB to engage with the community, Reading with Villa Winzig has since evolved. What began as an exclusive program has now broadened its scope to encompass two other local kindergartens, enriching the program's impact and extending its benefits to a wider range of children within the community.

“For children and adults alike it was a great experience to ‘breathe some American air’,” said Susanne Christmann, the Villa Winzig kindergarten director. “We were welcomed warmly at every location and always treated courteously. The firefighters were very patient with the kids, and it was a great event within our existing partnership.”

Christmann highlighted the uniqueness of the reading program and early childhood English introduction in Rhineland-Pfalz. Numerous kindergartens across the country engage in a nationwide initiative to explore neighboring countries and cultures.

The kindergarten promotes learning foreign languages at a young age since some of their students also come from Russia and Turkey.

Caroline Moor, Villa Winzig kindergarten ambassador coordinator and native English speaker from the United Kingdom, expresses her opinions of the tour.

“I think it was enlightening for the children and parents, as they are learning about American holidays and traditions, to get a small taste of the American military life on base,” said Moor. “We are very grateful to everyone, organizers and participants, of this fantastic day out!”

Any active duty service member, civilians and dependents from Ramstein are encouraged to volunteer. Members who are interested in volunteering should contact the Host Nation Office at host.nations@us.af.mil.