Reading Rainbow was one of the most popular kid’s television shows from 1983 until 2006, and was hosted by none other than LaVar Burton.
The show continued to run re-runs until 2009, when it was finally taken from the network. Now, Burton is wanting to bring back Reading Rainbow for a whole new generation of kids, and launched a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday in hopes of raising $1 million to bring the show to the Internet by July 2.
Burton created an app and launched it two years ago that allowed children to access Reading Rainbow from their smartphones and tablets. However, Burton quickly realized that not every child has access to a tablet, and he wanted to make the program available for children everywhere.
“It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could ‘go anywhere’ and ‘be anything.’ Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me,” Burton wrote on the campaign website.
“Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors,” he added. “Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world.”
Since the launch of the campaign, Burton has exceeded his goal of $1 million, and currently has raised $1,701,685 million, with 37,015 backers, and 34 days to go.
With the money, Burton hopes to bring Reading Rainbow to the web, along with over 1,500 classrooms. They are currently working on a classroom version that will be given, for free, to disadvantaged schools.
“So let’s do it this, y’all,” Burton said. “Together we can create and deliver a proven tool for encouraging the love of reading to millions of children. We can genuinely change the world, one children’s book at a time.”