LeVar Burton asks for the internet's help in expanding 'Reading Rainbow' to schools everywhere

Kickstarter project seeking $1 million by July 2

"Take a look, it's in a book... a reading rainbow."

For many of us either growing up over the past 30 years or those of who were parents of those children, "Reading Rainbow" was likely a large part of our educational programming growing up.

Today, LeVar Burton and his company launched a Kickstarter to bring "Reading Rainbow" and its promotion of literacy and reading habits to children and schools everywhere.

In an interview with The Verge, Burton said that while there had been great success with the iPad app released two years ago following the show's 2009 cancelation, it wasn't enough.

Burton believes that bringing back Reading Rainbow in a big way is increasingly important due to a dearth of quality educational programming for kids, as well as the United States' sluggish economy making it harder for its government to invest in education.

"We have this idea of ourselves as Americans that we offer the best education available and that we can compete on a world level with anybody, with any nation, any time, any year," Burton says. "That is, these days, much more an outdated image of ourselves rather than the reality. We are in trouble. Our educational system — the way we educate our kids — is failing our children."

Within the last two hours since I first read the story, Kickstarter pledges have jumped from approximately $220,000 to $450,000 at 2:20 p.m., with more than 10,000 backers. And in the interest of transparency, I'm one of them and have pledged $50 to the cause.

The goal is to raise $1 million by 2 p.m., CDT, on July 2. Rewards range from a digital thank you to Reading Rainbow swag and a meet-and-greet with Burton. Were you a big "Reading Rainbow" fan growing up? Do you currently use the app for your children?

You can also use your pledge to support a classroom or school's access to the Reading Rainbow app.

Print this article Back to Top