Students cooperate, compete

Anna Morelock/USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
Erich Kästner-Schule principal Dirk Mlaka holds the German flag while a student fastens it to a dragonboat. The German and American students teamed up to compete May 30 for the fourth year in a row.

The voices of 80 teenagers shouted across the Schierstein Harbor May 30 as German and American students chanted from one to ten, practicing to get their rowing in sync before their fourth annual dragon boat race.

The race is just one of the events for which students from Wiesbaden Middle School and Erich Kästner-Schule partner throughout the year. The partnership allows the students from both countries the chance to practice a foreign language and to interact with other teens they might not normally meet.

“We want to make sure they realize whenever you hang out with students from other countries that we’re pretty similar,” said Dirk Mlaka, EKS principal. “The interests are pretty similar, just the language is different.”