Maya Smart

Parent Educator, Literacy Advocate and Author

Maya Payne Smart is a parent educator, literacy advocate, and the author of Reading for Our Lives: A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six (Avery/Penguin Random House). Her website,, publishes new book lists, literacy activities, and other free family resources weekly to help parents play their dual roles as first teachers and educational advocates. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in social studies with honors from Harvard University. She serves as affiliated faculty in Educational Policy and Leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University.

Episodes for this expert

  • The Long-Term Benefits of Reading to Your Baby

    Reading books to your baby can be great for bonding or setting the mood before bedtime, and research shows there are long-lasting effects of this simple routine. What types of books are best for babies? How should parents be reading? And what are some tips for raising readers?

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