The "Reading Rainbow" app celebrated its one-year anniversary last month, exposing a new generation of young readers to the PBS show that for 26 years inspired children to read and use their imaginations.
Actor LeVar Burton, the former host of "Reading Rainbow" that was canceled in 2009, is behind the app, which was introduced in a YouTube video last August.
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The "Reading Rainbow" app gives children access to hundreds of "quality" books along with video field trips that reveal how things are made, much like what was featured on the original TV series.
The app is grouped between "themed islands" that "will allow your child to discover what they find interesting and exciting," Burton says in the introductory YouTube video.
"We're not just another bookshelf," he added.
Burton said the app has put more than 72,000 books in the hands of children, Bookish.com reported
"'Reading Rainbow' the television show was really about using the prevailing technology of the day to reach kids and turn them on to books and literature and the adventures of reading," Burton said in an interview with The Washington Post
on Sept. 13.
"If you want to reach kids today, you need to be on a mobile device," he added.
In its 26 years on PBS, "Reading Rainbow," earned 26 Emmy Awards, of which 11 were the Outstanding Children's Series award. The series also won a Peabody Award.
In 2011, Burton acquired the "Reading Rainbow" license in conjunction with his business partner Mark Wolfe and CEO Asra Rasheed. The app was launched through Burton's company RRKidz.
In addition to being the host on "Reading Rainbow," Burton is also well known for his roles in the 1970s slavery TV series "Roots," and the late '80s, early '90s TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
The "Reading Rainbow" app is free to download and aimed at children ages 4 and up. Users have to pay for the content, however. Users can pay per ebook or get a one-month subscription for $9.99 or six months for $29.99 on the iTunes store.
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