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Reading Rainbow smashes funding goal in record time


Is there anyone of age of majority who doesn’t remember Reading Rainbow, at least in North America? I sure do. It was one of those things from my childhood that I remember clearly. I can’t necessarily say it inspired me to read, since I read lots anyways, but I know it did just that for many other kids. It was taken off air in 2009 after a long 26-year run, though the last couple years saw re-runs only. But wait! Former host LeVar Burton, also of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, has been working to make it happen again.

Burton launched a Kickstarter to help him fund the project, which will see a return of Reading Rainbow. As of time of writing this, a mere one day after its launch, the funding sits at $2.5 million, well over the initial goal of $1 million.

Now, it should be noted that this will not bring back the original TV show, or even a new TV show. Burton already saw the creation of a Reading Rainbow iPad app, and this will expand on that, and help provide it to under-privileged classrooms for children in need. His idea is to create and provide a browser-based version of the app, which will have a much greater reach than an iPad app, and will contain the same amount of digital books that the app already has. It will also make it much easier for teachers to use in classrooms, which is the best place for it to reach the target audience. It won’t be the ultimate solution to illiteracy, but it certainly will go a ways to solving that issue.

Now, there will likely be some people who decry this, as it will be funding Burton’s for-profit company, RRKidz, but why does that matter? The campaign is entirely transparent about what it will be doing with the money. Sure, they could spend their own money on this project, but as Burton says himself in the Kickstarter video, they shouldn’t have to. Lots of people whine about “not having any faith in humanity.” Well, here is your chance to change that, or prove people wrong. And there are some pretty cool perks, though you should not need any incentive to donate money to this cause.

It’s really heart-warming to see such a positive response to this, and I hope that you will also find some money to donate as well.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014