LeVar Burton asks fans to help raise money to revive 'Reading Rainbow'

By Daniel S Levine,

Actor LeVar Burton has turned to crowdsourcing to try and revive Reading Rainbow, the iconic PBS series that he hosted for decades. Burton is hoping to raise $1 million to launch a new version that is up to speed with modern technology.

After seeing plenty of successful Kickstarter campaigns, Burton decided that the platform was the best to foster support for a new Reading Rainbow for a generation of children who never saw the show and need help with reading. So, he launched the campaign, which has already raised over $80,000 with 35 days left to go.

“I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children… and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility,” Burton wrote on Kickstarter. He noted that one in four children in the U.S. grow up illiterate, a problem he thinks Reading Rainbow can help solve.

He hopes that what he learned by launching the Reading Rainbow tablet app two years ago can be used to launching a successful version of the show in this hyperconnected environment. Unfortunately, not all children have access to tablets and they are expensive for schools. But if Reading Rainbow is re-launched, they can provide teaching materials for free that would correspond with the show.

“So lets do it this, y'all,” the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor says in a video, notes TheWrap. “Together we can create and deliver a proven tool for encouraging the love of reading to millions of children. We can genuinely change the world, one children's book at a time.”

Reading Rainbow launched in 1983 and ran through 2006. Reruns stopped airing in 2009.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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