A new Kickstarter campaign is set to beat all previous records, and even had to up it’s own goals as it reached it’s own target set of $1 million in just eleven hours.
Reading Rainbow began life as a children’s television series that aimed to encourage youngsters to read. It was created by Cecily Truett Lancit and Larry Lancit and was hosted by LeVar Burton, star of Roots and Star Trek. The show won several awards, including 26 Emmys, and each episode was centred on a certain theme, which then encouraged the children to search for books from the library.
Reading Rainbow was cancelled in November 2006, but reruns were aired up until May 2009. In June 2012 there was a Reading Rainbow app available for download on the iPad, which, within 36 hours became the number one most downloaded educational app in the iTunes store. The app was designed by LeVar Burton and allowed children to read as many books as they like, explore field trips via video that star Burton, and earn rewards for reading.
Following the successful release of the app, Burton realised that children still wanted to read and there was a place for reading within the digital world. In May 2014 he launched the Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his free online resource to bring back the Reading Rainbow via the Internet.
The campaign originally asked for $1 million but achieved that in just eleven hours, so Burton decided to up the stakes and ask for $5 million instead. So far the campaign has raised a whopping $3,488,229 with 77,106 backers and 27 days to go.
Burton speaks of why the campaign is so important to him: “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.”
He added why he chose Kickstarter for the platform to launch his campaign: “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.”
Burton recognises that not all children have access to tablets or mobiles but he wants to create a love of reading in all children, not just those with digital resources. He thinks that the Reading Rainbow needs to be everywhere, ‘…on the web, on mobile devices, on game consoles and on connected televisions.’
If you’d like to know more about this campaign visit Kickstarter, there’s still time to make a pledge.