How to Raise a Reader: A Smart Start Guide to Promote Early Literacy
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Study after study shows that the brain architecture for reading develops rapidly during infancy, and early language experiences are critical to building it. Yet parents, who are children’s primary “teachers” in the pivotal first years of life, often don’t know what to do, when, or how. In this presentation, Maya Smart describes how reading unfolds from birth through the early elementary years and outlines what caregivers can do to nurture it at each stage. Audiences leave armed with information about the six parent levers for literacy success, plus a toolkit of easy and research-based ways to nurture their children’s language and literacy development from the start.
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, MayaSmart.com, 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. (Photo Credit: Amanda Evans)