What do you get when three men and a lady team up with over 40 animals? The answer is a New Jersey-based group known as the Lizard Guys. They use a blend of humor and facts to educate children and parents about live animals. And on Monday, one of the Lizard Guys came to entertain 30 Weehawken kids.
On the evening of July 25, Jon Czerwienski, aka “Jungle Jon,” arrived with his animals at the Weehawken Nutrition Center.
Czerwienski, a longtime resident of Bayonne, provided the children age 2 through 6 with a fun-filled evening of educational entertainment with the help of his sidekicks Shirley The Snake, Harry The Australian Bearded Dragon, and Freddy The Frog.
‘Today, I learned about animals.’ – Jayden Garcia
“Education is important, fun is important,” said Czerwienski, who was working on his third of four shows that day.
He said his love for animals and insects started at the age of 12, when he began collecting them. When he entered his teen years, he started to work for the Lizard Guys.
Fun for young and old alike
Czerwienski used a mix of jokes and stories about the animals to entertain the kids. Not only did he engage the children, he kept the parents laughing.
Melanie Audy, who was there with her 4-year-old daughter Chloe, thought the show was “so funny and kept the parents attention as well.”
Alex and Jamie Garcia, parents of Mariah and Jayden, learned about the Lizard Guys show by reading the Weehawken Reporter. Jamie found the act to be a “very educational, funny, and an all-around great show.”
“Today, I learned about animals,” said Jayden.
Carlton Gerber, who brought his nephews Brandon and Conner Boem to the center, said, “I wanted them to have new experiences.”
Brandon, who is 6, said, “The animals were cool.” Conner, 5, chimed in, “I love the animals.”
Putting it together
When Weehawken recreation coordinators Kate McMahon and Donna Daly put the 2011 kids’ summer program together for the residents of Weehawken, they wanted to focus on indoor activities.
“We wanted a great program that was safe, fun, and cool,” said McMahon.
When it was time to list activities, Daly immediately thought about the Lizard Guys, whom she’d seen at other parties.
“Jon was amazing, fun, and did an excellent job,” McMahon said. “The kids were enthusiastic, receptive, and learned a lot from Jon and his animals.”
Gustavo L. Adrianzén may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.