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LeVar Burton of “Reading Rainbow” Raises $5.4 million to Revive Program

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LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow” “Reading Rainbow” began airing on PBS in 1993- the year I was learning to read. Schools loved the show and in 1997, teachers rated “Reading Rainbow” as the best public-television program they’d used for educational purposes

But even though “Reading Rainbow” was popular with kids, parents and teachers alike, funding for the show dropped off and the plug was pulled on the show in 2006. PBS ran reruns until 2009.

Fast forward to present day and LeVar Burton’s Kickstarter campaign to revive “Reading Rainbow ” has been a huge success. My guess is that there are tons of parents my age who remember learning to read through the program and want the same education for their kids.

LeVar was looking to raise $1 million, but after 35 days he finished with an incredible $5.4 million. And that $5.4 million doesn’t include the $1 million Seth MacFarlane has vowed to donate. The campaign, the fifth most-funded in Kickstarter’s history, broke the record for most donors with 105,855, beating out the campaign for the Veronica Mars movie (91,585).

So what now? According to LeVar’s Kickstarter page, the goal is for “Reading Rainbow” to reach kids everywhere from the web to mobile devices, on game consoles and on connected televisions.  LeVar also hopes to offer “Reading Rainbow” along with the tools that teachers need, including teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards to thousands of disadvantaged classrooms for free.

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