If you remember the days of LeVar Burton hosting the PBS show Reading Rainbow, then your childhood was awesome. Unfortunately, most of the kids in elementary school now can’t say the same, and Burton is looking to change that. Burton started a campaign on Kickstarter this morning to raise $1 million to bring back Reading Rainbow. If the crowdsourced project is successful, the Reading Rainbow program will be available online and will be provided to 1,500 classrooms at no cost.
After teasing of big news to come on Twitter, LeVar Burton posted the announcement that he is trying to bring back the popular reading show this morning. The announcement was met with an outpouring of support, with people wasting no time in pledging anywhere from a buck to hundreds of dollars to bring back the show.
Check out Burton’s Twitter announcement below.
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) May 28, 2014
Burton says he wants to bring back Reading Rainbow because of the staggering number of children that will grow up illiterate.
“I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children…and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility,” Burton posted to his Kickstarter page. Burton goes on to say that “1 out of every 4 children in America will grow up illiterate,” which is a ridiculously high number for a first world country.
Check out LeVar Burton’s Kickstarter video for Reading Rainbow below.
As with most crowdsourced projects, people that pledge money are promised certain goodies depending on how much money they contribute. People that donate will receive anything from a special thanks on Burton’s website for a $5 donation all the way to a private dinner in Los Angeles with LeVar Burton as well as Burton’s Star Trek visor for a pledge of $10,000.
Even though Burton has five weeks to raise the necessary funds, it looks like he will be able to raise that amount in less than a day, as more than $800,000 has already been pledged to the campaign. Around 20,000 people have made pledges so far, which shows just how much people believe in the project.
Reading Rainbow was a great part of my childhood, and probably a lot of yours too! Back it. 😀 @levarburton is awesome!!
— Kelsey (@kelseyr713) May 28, 2014
The rewards for the Reading Rainbow kickstarter are pretty great. Picnic with Levar! And apparent HE is the butterfly in the sky.
— Kellie Allen (@thirtyseven) May 28, 2014
Watching the Reading Rainbow kickstarter's numbers skyrocket is just incredible. All in for education! http://t.co/GGz0KzU1Nr
— Catrina (@ohcatrina) May 28, 2014
Whether you choose to contribute to Burton’s project or not, here is a nice blast from the past:
Image via Kickstarter