Fairfield residents to appear on Oprah’s show
FAIRFIELD — Just like when she visited in 2011, Oprah has once again reached out to Fairfield.
Two residents were invited to participate on a panel Thursday at Harpo Studios in Chicago to discuss “The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children,” by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, parenting expert and author.
Rebecca Bellonci, preschool director and teacher at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, was asked to join the discussion after she signed up to be in the audience.
Bellonci was asked to bring a parent from the school with her, and chose Juliet Jarmosco, the mother of six children, ages 1-12, all attending classes at MSAE.
The women will appear on Oprah’s Lifeclass streaming live at 1 p.m. online at www.oprah.com/app/oprahs-lifeclass.html and also through the OWN Lifeclass Webcast Facebook page.
The Lifeclass also will be broadcast at 8 p.m. May 18 on OWN TV.
“I have been a fan of Oprah since she first aired in 1986 and I was 16 years old,” said Bellonci. “It is an absolute dream come true to go to Chicago, to Harpo Studios and be a part of the Lifeclass discussion about parenting.”
Bellonci watches Oprah’s Lifeclasses online and when Thursday’s topic was announced last week, she applied to be in the audience. Her credentials as a certified Association Montessori International teacher and teacher/administrator at MSAE bumped her from the audience to the panel.
“I’m also teaching a parenting class right now at MSAE based on positive disciplining and consciousness-based education,” said Bellonci.
Oprah’s Lifeclasses have a small studio audience and social media invites those watching to send questions and comments live via Twitter and Instagramvideo.
“We’ll be in the studios from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, and it airs live at 1 p.m. online,” said Bellonci.
She is in her first year of teaching at MSAE, having moved here last summer from North Carolina. Her classroom has 25 children, 2 to 5 years old, each morning session.
“In the afternoons, I handle administration duties,” she said.
Bellonci taught six years at a Montessori school in North Carolina.
“I met Richard Beall in North Carolina and learned about MSAE and Fairfield,” she said. “I love teaching so much I say I’d do it for free. I’ve always taught in Montessori schools before.”
Beall is the head administrator at MSAE.
“I love working here and teaching at Maharishi School,” said Bellonci. “A lot of alumni send their children here. My own 9-year-old daughter is in third grade here. I like being a part of the vision in the community.”
Jarmosco and her family moved to Fairfield from Michigan four years ago, specifically to place her growing family in Maharishi School.
“Rebecca is a fabulous teacher,” said Jarmosco. “I knew I needed a village to help raise my kids. We learned Transcendental Meditation and within six months we sold our house in Michigan and moved to Fairfield.”
Jarmosco’s children are Jaiden, 12, in sixth grade; Blake, 9, in third grade; Sage, 7, in second grade; Kate, 5, in kindergarten; Shea, 3, in prekindergarten; and Beau, 1, in preschool.
“Parents can only be as good as their level of consciousness allows,” she said. “I’m interested in raising the level of consciousness.”
Neither woman has read the book that’s prompted Oprah’s Lifeclass Thursday.
“It’s so much in demand, it’s out-of-stock,” said Jarmosco.
Bellonci heard a TED talk from the author about the subject. TED talks are video presentations, usually 20 minutes or less, sharing “ideas worth spreading,” according to the private, nonprofit Sapling Foundation, which owns the conferences.
The women were preparing to hit the road for the drive to Chicago as The Ledger went to print today, and Bellonci made one last phone call.
“I’m at Blue Fish, buying a fabulous new outfit to wear for the class tomorrow,” she said. “I want to represent Fairfield well.”