LeVar Burton Needs You to Help Him Bring Back Reading Rainbow
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!
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.