LeVar Burton Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Revive 'Reading Rainbow'

Image: LeVar Burton Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Revive 'Reading Rainbow'

Thursday, 29 May 2014 06:49 AM

By Jonna Lorenz

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Actor LeVar Burton wants to bring back “Reading Rainbow” as an Internet series and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million for the project.

“Reading Rainbow,” which encourages children to read, aired from 1983 to 2006 with reruns continuing until 2009.

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Burton, also known for his roles as as Kunta Kinte from "Roots" and Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," launched a tablet version of the program in 2012.

The app includes more than 500 books and video field trips with Burton, who is known for hosting the show that encouraged children to “take a look, it’s in a book.”

“I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children,” Burton wrote in the Kickstarter pitch.

The project aims to “bring ‘Reading Rainbow’ back for every child, everywhere” with a Web-based program and a classroom version that school can access free of charge. The program will include lesson plans and tools for tracking progress, according to CNN.

Burton is offering rewards for contributions, ranging from thank-you tweets to autographed copies of his new children’s book, personalized voicemail messages, a private dinner with him, and the chance to take your photo while wearing his visor from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

"There is nothing more powerful to me than that elemental experience of storytelling: being read to aloud, following along, seeing the story in the pictures and feeling it in your heart," Burton said, according to CNN. "It is really beautifully, brilliantly embodied in the sharing of a children's book."

The campaign drew strong support from Twitter users.

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