Reading is liberation! Join author Maya Payne Smart on Thursday, Feb. 2, as she shares how to grow lifelong readers.

Maya will discuss her new book, Reading for Our Lives, A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six at La Cumbre Junior High School, 2255 Modoc Road in Santa Barbara from 6:30 p.m. to 8p.m. It will be an engaging and powerful presentation for parents, grandparents, and educators.

There will be a taco truck from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; free tacos for the first 200 guests!

Free childcare is available for ages 4-12 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Registration is required).

Please register here if you’d like to attend!

In Reading for Our Lives, A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six, writer, educator, and literacy advocate Maya Payne Smart challenges the bath-book-bed mantra and the idea that reading aloud to our kids is enough to ensure school readiness — a myth Smart believed until her daughter started school and Smart found her reading progress lacking.

Smart realized that our current approach to literacy offers too little, too late. 

Reading for Our Lives is a timely, necessary tool as U.S. literacy hits critical levels.

Currently, there are 43 million Americans between ages 16 to 65 who can’t read well enough to complete a job application, follow a bus schedule, understand a rental agreement or parse choices at the ballot box.

Low-income kids and children of color suffer the most. Reading for Our Lives offers parents from all walks a life hope and a lifeline.

Smart encourages and motivates caregivers to use whatever they have of their most valuable resource – time – to set their children on the road for success.

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.

Reading for Our Lives is the book to turn to when nurturing critical readers. Like reading, Smart’s book is for our children’s lives. Don’t miss out because our kids must not miss out on the life-giving power of reading.”

Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

For more info email:

Contact: Connie Alexander 805.895.1153.