Author and Literary Advocate Maya Smart participated in a panel to identify the most critical challenges facing young children today, and develop solutions that will help all children thrive. The event was organized by Penfield Children’s Center.

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.