LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow” Kickstarter Campaign Reaches $1M Goal In Hours

Published on May 29, 2014.
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — LeVar Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign Wednesday to bring back the PBS series Reading Rainbow as an online resource for parents and children, and he reached his goal of $1 million within hours instead of his deadline of July 2.

Burton, 57, tells Deadline.com, “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would reach our goal on the very first day,” adding, “People are getting involved — it’s been pretty overwhelming.”

From 1983 to 2006, the beloved show helped inspire a love of reading in millions of kids and earned 26 Emmys and a Peabody.

In a Kickstarter video, Burton promises the new Reading Rainbow will be provided to “disadvantaged” classrooms for free, along with the tools that teachers need.

Burton explains that when the show began back in the 1980s, they used TV to bring books to kids, but “In 2014, TV is not that place anymore.” He adds, “Now, we’re trying to reach a new generation of digital natives.”

Two years ago, Burton launched the Reading Rainbow App for tablets, “putting hundreds of quality books — and educational video field trips — right in a child’s hands.”

However, he notes that “not all families have access to tablets,” and adds, “To reach kids everywhere, we need to be everywhere: we need to be on the web.”
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