Affiliated faculty Maya Smart to discuss her new book live from the Les Aspin Center

Maya Payne Smart is a writer, parent educator and literacy advocate. Join her for a conversation about her new book, “Reading for Our Lives,” which 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.

  • When: Thursday, Aug. 11, from 6-6:45 p.m. CST
  • Where: Virtual event live from the Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C. Limited in-person tickets available. Register online.

Smart serves as affiliated faculty in educational policy and leadership in the College of Education at Marquette. She is the wife of Shaka Smart, head coach of the Marquette men’s basketball team. Her website,, provides tips and tools for parents to nurture, teach, and advocate for kids on the road to reading.

“Reading for Our Lives” can be purchased online.

All proceeds of books sales made through the Marquette Office of University Advancement will benefit the Bo and Candy Ellis Student Success Fund to help students at Marquette cover emergency expenses.

The Bo and Candy Ellis Student Success Fund will help support students who experience unanticipated loss or travel emergencies as well as food and safety needs. The fund will mirror the university’s Bridge to the Future Fund, which has provided immediate support to hundreds of students experiencing financial strain.

During the past 30 years, more than 2,500 students have spent a semester at Marquette’s Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C., interning in nearly 100 Congressional offices, numerous executive agencies and diverse interest groups.