Mondays at Melton grand finale

Rani holds the globe in her hands

The 2021 Mondays at Melton summer environmental camp wrapped up on August 9 with “One Kiwi, Two Kiwis,” a story about her native New Zealand read by Rani Norley, wife of West Chester Borough mayor Jordan Norley.

Forty people of all ages joined the celebration and learned how New Zealanders, also known as Kiwis, greet each other, a bit about their history as a British Commonwealth nation, and an overview of their famous and unique animals.

“Kiwi One and Kiwi Two”

Rani shared photos of the mountains and national parks of her beautiful native land and passed around a small globe, which she used to show where New Zealand is relative to the US and to illustrate why the northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons.

Eunice sings and plays

In addition, environmental educator and Melton Center staff member Eunice Alexander strummed her guitar and sang songs about spiders and snakes–and how good they are for the Earth. As a special treat of the evening, everyone enjoyed gelato generously donated by D’Ascenzo’s.

Sue and Michael scoop ice cream

Thanks also to Sue Patterson of the West Chester Co-op and Michael Hartman of Senator Carolyn Comitta’s office for serving ice cream.

Listening to Rani

You can see all of the activity reflected in the photos above and below expertly taken by Taka Nagai.

Earlier lessons at the camp featured growing and cooking with tomatoes, information on endangered animals, a story on city gardening, a Japanese tale of a magic peach, and an overall focus on good nutrition and the importance of eating healthy vegetables grown in your own garden.

Thanks to Senator Carolyn Comitta and her husband Tom for their generous financial contribution to Mondays at Melton, to Jessica Nagle for being a regular part of programs, to Reiko Yoshida and Taka Nagai, who came 3 times, took photos and provided Japanese cookies and candy for the peach evening, and especially to Jamie Comfort Atkins, director of the Melton Center’s New Directions program and overall coordinator of Mondays at Melton.

Mondays at Melton are an outgrowth of the West Chester Green Team and the Melton Center’s collaboration on their first annual community garden program. WCU Professor Ashlie Delshad advises the gardeners, who are enjoying a bountiful harvest.  Snacking on cherry tomatoes they pick themselves, the children learned when and how to harvest from their own gardens.

Mondays at Melton were sponsored by the Melton Center and the WC Green Team. For our August 2 program “A Glimpse of Japan,” see here. For more information on Mondays at Melton and the WC Green Team’s related community gardening program, type “Melton” in the Search box in the right sidebar or contact Margaret Hudgings,

With plants in raised bed
Passing the book on NZ
Nice mask!
West Chester Mayor Norley and kids
What a beautiful cone!
Liz and Jamie hold the flag