A few weeks ago, children of the ’80s and ’90s got a blast from the past when a campaign to resurrect “Reading Rainbow” launched on Kickstarter. The project aims to inspire a love for reading in children by bringing the old TV show into the modern age. A mobile app and desktop version are both in the works.
The Kickstarter project, led by former “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton, absolutely exploded, reaching its goal of $1 million within just 11 hours of its launching. It has now raised more than $3.8 million from more than 81,000 backers, making it one of the most-funded Kickstarter projects of all time with 16 days left to go.
Burton has since adjusted the goal to $5 million, which he hopes will help even more kids access the new “Reading Rainbow” materials.
But what exactly is “Reading Rainbow,” and why are people so excited that it’s coming back? The show was the third-longest running children’s show in PBS history, and it was filled with educational fun and adventure that kids across America enjoyed.
“Reading Rainbow” premiered on June 6, 1983. In the first episode, “Tight Times,” host LeVar Burton shows a friend how a library is a great place to have fun on the cheap.
Burton hosted and produced the show until it went off the air in 2006. Burton had previously found fame in his role as Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
He also starred as Kunta Kinte on the ’70s TV series “Roots.”