Reading Rainbow was a pivotal part of my childhood. I was already a bookworm, but watching this show solidified a life-long love of literacy. Just yesterday, on a walk outside, I found myself humming the theme song. Today, I’m thrilled to report that there is a plan underway to bring the show back to life for a new generation — and it’s being spearheaded by the show’s beloved host, LeVar Burton himself! Using new technology and the power of crowdfunding, Burton will bring the same love of reading to a knee-high crop of digital natives. Keep reading to find out more!
“[W]hen Reading Rainbow began in 1983, we were using television to bring books to kids, meeting them where they wanted to be. In 2014, TV is not that place anymore,” explains Burton on the project’s Kickstarter page. So, two years ago, the former Reading Rainbow host helped launch an iPad app to replace the show. It has been very popular, but there are shortcomings. Burton explains:
First, not all families have access to tablets. Our goal is to cultivate a love of reading in all children, not just those that have tablets. To reach kids everywhere, we need to be everywhere: we need to be on the web.
Second, a resounding number of teachers have told me that they want Reading Rainbow in their classrooms, where they know it can make a difference. We will provide it, along with the tools that teachers need, including teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards. And in disadvantaged classrooms, we’ll provide it for free.
To achieve these lofty goals, Burton and supporters were hoping to raise a whopping $1 million in donations via crowdfunding. Unsurprisingly, the campaign has far surpassed the goal of raising $1 million dollars in ONE DAY and the donations keep rolling in. The campaign has currently amassed over $1.7 million dollars!
There are a plethora of awesome rewards, from reading packages and Twitter thank-yous to a LeVar Burton greeting on your voice mail! Check out the campaign for yourself, and help if you can. Let’s get these kids reading!