The Modern General Feed and Seed and Read program brings Maya to speak about her new book, Reading for Our Lives: A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six.

Snacks and refreshments will be available. Open to the public but space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Children are welcome and encouraged! Books will be available for purchase and Maya will be signing at close of event.

Reading for Our Lives challenges the bath-book-bed mantra and the idea that reading aloud to our kids is enough to ensure school readiness. Instead, it gives parents easy, immediate, and accessible ways to nurture language and literacy development from the start. Through personal stories, historical accounts, scholarly research, and practical tips, this book presents the life-and-death urgency of literacy, investigates inequity in reading achievement, and illuminates a path to a true, transformative education for all.

Maya Payne Smart is a writer, parent educator, and literacy advocate who has served on the boards of numerous library and literacy organizations. She and her family live in Milwaukee, where she serves as affiliated faculty in educational policy and leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University. Her website,, provides tips and tools for parents to nurture, teach, and advocate for kids on the road to reading.