Butterfly in the sky, y’all — the show that taught you how reading could take you anywhere is about to come back with a little help from its main man LeVar Burton… and you. In the spirit of PBS, LeVar is putting the call out to “viewers like you” to help him fund the next generation of Reading Rainbow through Kickstarter. And by the time we finish typing this, he might have already succeeded.
Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2009, but came back big for the digital generation with an iPad app that brought interactive books and video field trips to the fingers of the new, tech-adept generation. That’s great and all, but let’s face it — not every child has access to a tablet, restricting Rainbow’s reach and not working to reverse scary statistics like this one: One in four kids in the U.S. will grow up illiterate.
The host knows that the “Reading Rainbow of today” needs to be altered to reach the kids of today. All of them. As LeVar puts it: “30 minutes on TV was yesterday’s world.” With the help of crowdfunding, Reading Rainbow 3.0 will be back as an interactive, web-enabled program that can reach every child who has access to a computer.
If the campaign reaches its $1 million goal, Reading Rainbow can find a whole new home on the web, where an unlimited library of books and field trips for kids can be accessed from browsers around the world at home and at the library, with a specialized classroom version created just for school.
If schools are strapped for funds, a successful Kickstarter will enable LeVar and his crew to subsidize the educational RR and its supplementary tools for schools in need to have access to — totally FREE.
In the short time it’s taken us to write this, the pledges have jumped from around $730,000 to over $800,000 (it’s a little exhilarating to watch the numbers go up live tbqh), so we bet a celebration is in order over at the Reading Rainbow offices in the next hour or so. Besides going to a great cause, your pledges can snag you anything from a tote bag to an autographed poster to a reading sesh with LeVar himself (anyone want to pool some funds for that?!). Take a look, it’s in this Kickstarter campaign. And after that, go ahead and get a little nostalgic already:
Did you watch Reading Rainbow growing up? What cool Kickstarters have you seen (or funded!) lately? Share below!