Just eleven hours after the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, former PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow” surpassed its initial $1,000,000 goal. LeVar Burton, who hosted the show from 1983 to 2006, decided to launch the campaign through the crowdfunding giant to bring the show to a whole new generation of kids.
Urging fans of the show to help with the campaign, Mr. Burton writes, “I am hoping you will join me in my mission to bring ‘Reading Rainbow’ back for every child, everywhere. Together, we can change the lives of millions of children. But you don’t have to take my word for it: just keep reading!
“I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children… and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility. And here is the problem: Right now, 1 out of every 4 children in America will grow up illiterate and numerous studies reveal that children who can’t read at grade level by the fourth grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
“As of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well-educated than the previous.”
Also revealing the reason why he turned to Kickstarter for help, Mr. Burton noted, “Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors. Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world.”
In 2009, Mr. Burton launched the “Reading Rainbow” app for tablets. This app helps build on the basics of the television and puts hundreds of quality books and educational video field trips right in a child’s hand. The main problem, not every child is able to access a tablet.
The campaign’s main three goals include: to transition “Reading Rainbow” from the app, create a program that educators will be able to use in the classes, and to fund a non-profit initiative that will put “Reading Rainbow” into low-income schools for free.
Since the launch on Wednesday (May 28th), the campaign has received $1,845,612 from 40,511 backers. It is set to close on July 2nd.
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