(May 28, 2014) – “Take a look, it’s in a book. Reading Rainbow.”
Actor LeVar Burton wants to bring Reading Rainbow back for a whole new generation of kids.
He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $1 million to bring the iconic show to the web. The series ran from 1983 through 2006 to promote reading and literacy. Reruns continued until 2009.
The original show, he said, was effective because TV was the medium to reach children. Now it’s all about technology.
Reading Rainbow launched as an iPad app two years ago, and the results have been encouraging. But Burton said it’s not enough—not everyone has a tablet to access it. That’s why he wants to put it on the web where everyone can use it.
The Kickstarter would use the money to bring Reading Rainbow to the web, create a version for teachers to use in the classroom and establish a not-for-profit that would give “Reading Rainbow” away to low-income schools at no cost. Schools and families will still be able to use the app, but they’ll have to pay for a $60 annual subscription.
The Kickstarter campaign has several different reward tiers for donors, including signed books, autographed pictures and a $10,000 “Ultimate VISOR Package” that gives donors the chance to wear the prop Burton famously sported on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Burton drew on one of the show’s famous lines to make his pitch.
“Together, we can change the lives of millions of children. But you don’t have to take my word for it: just keep reading!”
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