LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned actor, producer and lifelong education advocate LeVar Burton is asking the public to join Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter campaign to bring unlimited books and video field trips to all children. The funds raised will be used to expand Reading Rainbow's #1-ranked educational tablet app to more accessible platforms, including the web, and to design a specialized classroom version that meets the needs of teachers. In an unusual move, a significant percentage of the Kickstarter funds will provide Reading Rainbow for free to the nation's neediest schools.
Burton explains, "Over the past few years, we've all seen amazing, inspiring projects come to life on Kickstarter. Together, passionate people have made incredible things possible. Today, I hope you'll join all of us at Reading Rainbow on a mission to make a difference in the lives of children, families and schools around the world."
The multi-Emmy and Peabody-winning Reading Rainbow remains one of the most watched and beloved children's television series in PBS history and has been connecting families to the joy of reading for over 30 years.
In 2012, Burton took the first step in re-imagining the iconic brand for a new generation of digital natives, launching a tablet-based children's reading service with hundreds of quality books and new educational video field trips. The public response was immediate and profound: the app quickly became and remains the #1 educational app, with over 13 million books read and videos watched in the first two years.
Now, Burton hopes to take the next step, by raising the funds needed to bring Reading Rainbow to every child, everywhere. Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter campaign goes live at 9:15am EDT on Wednesday, May 28, and will end at 12pm EDT on Wednesday, July 2.
The campaign's initial $1 million goal will fund:
1. A web-based version of Reading Rainbow for universal access
2. An Educator-specific version with the tools teachers need
3. FREE access to the service for a minimum of 1500 classrooms
Yancey Strickler, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstarter said, "Many of us at Kickstarter grew up watching Reading Rainbow on TV. The chance to inspire a new generation of kids to read is just amazing. We can't wait to back it."
In addition to driving this significant movement to improve education, Burton and Reading Rainbow are offering backers a range of exclusive rewards and experiences. Rewards include autographed memorabilia, tickets to an intimate "Reading Rainbow Live!" reading tour, private dinners with LeVar, and even a chance to wear the original visor that Burton wore on Star Trek: The Next Generation
About LeVar Burton & RRKidz:
Best known for his distinguished TV roles, most notably Kunta Kinte on Roots, Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton is widely recognized for his lifelong advocacy of children's literacy. In 2011 he formed RRKidz with his business partner Mark Wolfe. They hold the global rights to the Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator, WNED/Buffalo.
SOURCE Reading Rainbow