106.7 The Fan All News 99.1 WNEW CBS Sports Radio 1580

LeVar Burton Makes a ‘Reading Rainbow’ Plea on Kickstarter

View Comments
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for the UK Film Council)

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for the UK Film Council)

Latest News

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

LOS ANGELES — LeVar Burton’s fundraising effort to bring “Reading Rainbow” to the online masses is a by-the-book success.

The goal of raising $1 million by July 2 was reached within hours of the campaign’s launch Wednesday on Kickstarter, according to the website. More than 23,000 donors had pledged $1.1 million and counting.

Burton was the host of “Reading Rainbow,” the children’s literacy program that aired on public TV through 2009.

“It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could ‘go anywhere’ and ‘be anything,’ ” Burton said in a posting on Kickstarter.

Contributors can claim rewards ranging from autographed memorabilia to a private dinner with Burton to a chance to put on the visor that the actor wore on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

“We’re not just getting pledges, but so much email love that our server froze,” said Mark Wolfe, Burton’s business partner. “I’m so happy to help. LeVar taught me to read,” is among the typical messages, he said.

A tablet version of “Reading Rainbow” was released in 2012 and became a top-selling education app. It provides access to hundreds of books and Burton’s videotaped “field trips” to historic and other places, said Wolfe, who co-founded the for-profit RRKidz company with Burton.

The Kickstarter campaign is intended to help bring an online version to more children for a $5 monthly subscription fee, Wolfe said. Many more families have access to computers than tablets, he said.

An educator-specific format will be created for schools and made available free to at least 1,500 of the neediest classrooms, RRKidz said.

Burton and Wolfe hold the global rights to “Reading Rainbow” in partnership with the show’s creator, public TV station WNED in Buffalo, New York, according to a release.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus