Stefani Sloma

Successful Kickstarter Campaign Means the Return of Reading Rainbow

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Did you guys know that one in four kids in the US will grow up illiterate? I didn’t, but LeVar Burton sure does. The well-known host of Reading Rainbow has not given up on these children and the show’s mission to promote reading and literacy in kids everywhere. In 2012, Reading Rainbow launched its iPad app, and though it has received a lot of attention, it is still limited in its reach. Not all children have access to tablets, and so, LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow launched their Kickstarter to raise money to bring a version of Reading Rainbow to the web and into classrooms.

The Kickstarter campaign, posted today, was looking to raise $1,000,000 and has three goals:

  • to bring Reading Rainbow to the web
  • to create a version for teachers to use in the classroom
  • to be able to bring Reading Rainbow into low-income schools for free

The web version of Reading Rainbow will be a lot like the current iPad app: readers will subscribe to the service and will have access to the library of over 10 million books and field trips, which are set up much like the show was. Children can read the book on their own or choose to have an actor read it for them. Currently, on the iPad version of Reading Rainbow, children read around 139,000 books per week (source). The goal is to bring Reading Rainbow to kids everywhere. They intend to provide the service for more than 1500 low-income schools with the plan to expand this with each dollar over their goal.

The Kickstarter has already been fully funded, and at this time, it is more than $350,000 over its intended goal! This is fantastic news. I grew up on Reading Rainbow, and I am thrilled that it will now be able to continue instilling a love of reading in kids. Honestly, if I had an iPad, I probably would have a subscription to it, and I’m an adult (most of the time). Reading Rainbow is inspirational and having it back for kids growing up in America right now, who, let’s face it, are struggling in our current economy that is unable to focus on education as much as it probably should, makes me very happy. I know that the return of Reading Rainbow will bring about a change for kids across the country; more kids will have access to books and hopefully that will mean less illiterate children. I wish I could personally thank LeVar Burton for not giving up on Reading Rainbow.

Now get this theme song stuck in your head like it’s stuck in mine:

The Kickstarter campaign is still open to contributions. You can donate HERE.

What do you think about the return of Reading Rainbow? Are you as excited as I am?

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