You may know him as Kunta Kinte, from ROOTS, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But most notably, you know him as the man with the calm, soothing and informative voice of the Reading Rainbow. I am talking of course, about celebrity LeVar Burton. He’s back, and with an even greater vision of bringing the Reading Rainbow to classrooms in need. The best part about his new dream, it wouldn’t cost the schools a dime.
The Reading Rainbow was broadcasted from 1983 to 2006 with a goal of educating children on how to read. The series was widely successful; during that time it was awarded 26 Emmys and 1 Peabody. LeVar Burton is using Kickstarter.com to raise funds in order to provide schools everywhere with access to his show. The original goal of $1 million has already been reached; they are now closing in on their second goal of $5 million. If their second goal is achieved they will be able to bring free subscriptions to the Reading Rainbow to over 7500 classrooms. This would all be done digitally; they would be located on the web, mobile devices, game consoles and on connected televisions.
Why do we need the Reading Rainbow now more than ever? Studies reveal that children who cannot read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school. Also, as of 2011, America was the only free market country where the current generation was less well educated than the one before. At this rate, one out of four children in the USA will grow up illiterate.
Many children across the USA do not have access to the tools necessary to help them learn and grow. By backing LeVar Burton and the Reading Rainbow you can help expand the minds of those who need it most. Every dollar counts, however, those who are passionate about this movement can receive some cool prizes by donating more. $10 gets you a “Thank You” tweet from @ReadingRainbow, sure that’s nice and all, but if you donate $1500 you get to join LeVar on a picnic lunch adventure in Los Angelos.
That’s right, a picnic with LeVar Burton.