As a child of the 90s, I grew up watching Reading Rainbow. Who my age never watched reading rainbow. Then I just knew that he was the same man who was in the Star Trek show my dad always watched. LeVar Burton would make books come alive on screen. Sure, I have always been a fan of books, but I’m fairly certain that part of my love for books exists was because reading Rainbow helped instill that love in me from an early age (and a little bit of Wishbone). Reading Rainbow unlocked things inside of me and made me realize how important books can be and what they can really do for you.
What is Reading Rainbow
In case you somehow don’t already know what Reading Rainbow is it was an educational television show that presented reading material in an engaging way for children. The show ran from 1983 to 2006 and was hosted by the awesome LeVar Burton. Every episode features a a children’s book being read by a myriad of different people. However, reading a book wasn’t all that the show did, LeVar also brought kids to new places around the world for various reasons. So not only was this show about reading, but expanding the horizons of children.
What LeVar Burton is trying to do for Reading Rainbow
As I mentioned, Reading Rainbow has been off the air since 2006. But this was a cause that was deep in LeVar’s heart and in the past couple of years he’s worked to keep reading rainbow alive best as possible. The first go was the app that was released in 2012 and has proven to be a worthwhile endeavor reaching millions of people, while expanding in to a more portable modern form factor. Reading Rainbow isn’t going to stop there. Yesterday, on May 28th, 2014, LeVar Burton launched the Reading Rainbow kickstarter to bring the familiar episodes back to Reading Rainbow in the form of webisodes. This will allow Reading Rainbow to be more accessible and more engaging. The goal goal was to reach $1 million by July 2nd, 2014. As this post is being written, only 24 hours after it’s launch, it has already just shy of $1.8 million.
Why this is great and important
Even though the project has already reached it’s goal you should still consider contributing. This new iteration of Reading Rainbow is still aimed at education and this will help students in classrooms as well. It will also provide them a look at the world through the video field trips that many kids will never get to experience.
Reading Rainbow opened my eyes to the potential and what was out there in the world. I’m sure that it did the same for many other kids who grew up with it as well. It would be a shame if kids today were stripped from such a beneficial experience. Reading Rainbow makes books, learning, and education more palpable. Not only that but this is down right a good cause that promotes literacy. Now, I am a bit biased as I am a writer and even if I’m not published, I believe that reading is important. Books are my life blood. While I realize that not everyone has an attachment to books, everyone is different and that is what makes the world so interesting and the books we read so enthralling. But I do believe that every child should have the opportunity to be exposed to books and find them in their own accessible way. Reading Rainbow doesn’t just promote reading, but being creative and inquisitive and that’s what’s necessary for society to progress rather than stagnate.
Did you love Reading Rainbow as a child?