On May 28 Deadline posted the news that LaVar Burton has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring back a version of the popular television series "Reading Rainbow," which encouraged children to read and provided educational lessons. The campaign is aiming to raise one million dollars over a one month period, and has already passed it's goal.
Before LaVar Burton made a name for himself in movies, he was the host of "Reading Rainbow," an educational children's television series which aired on PBS from 1983 to 2006. The series encouraged children to read and won over two hundred broadcasting awards. Burton has already brought back the series as an app, which was released in 2012.
The Kickstarter campaign was launched on Wednesday morning and currently has nearly twenty four thousand backers. The campaign is already ninety thousand dollars past it's goal and will continue for the next thirty-four days. The relaunch of the popular series will take place on the web, allowing classrooms everywhere to use it for lessons.
The campaign will allow for the series to go to the web and create customized lessons for classrooms across the country, especially where literacy rates are lowest. All of the programs will be available to schools for free, while the app will be available through a subscription service. The lessons are also available for tablets and offers virtual field trips.
ABC News reported on May 28 that currently one in four children is illiterate and America is the first country where the previous generation was more accurate than the current generation. The first million dollars raised will also put the new lessons in over fifteen hundred classrooms across the nation. Classrooms with disadvantaged children will receive the new programs for free, and the hope is to extend the program globally.
Rewards for backing the project range from getting a thank you on the website to meeting Burton in person. The actor has also appealed to "Star Trek" fans everywhere, by offering to attend science fiction conventions across the country with the backers, including dinners, meet and greet, autograph sessions and VIP passes. T-shirts, mugs, magnets, Twitter followers and other items are also available as rewards depending on how much money someone donates.