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LeVar Burton Starts Kickstarter To Bring Reading Rainbow To More Kids, Hits Goal In Less Than 12 Hours
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.29.2014

Everybody sing now: "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high..."

Mashable reports that LeVar Burton started a Kickstarter account to bring back Reading Rainbow for children everywhere. The series ran on PBS from 1983 to 2006 and focuses on teaching kids about the joys of reading. The Kickstarter account only took half a day to hit its million dollar goal. As of this writing, it has $1,852,056 from 40,689 people.

The goal is to bring the show to a new generation of young readers with a web version for families at home and a classroom version for teachers. It would help provide free access to schools in need. The campaign was helped by social media. It quickly hit its goal at around 8 PM ET yesterday after Burton (who hosted the show during its entire run) launched the page earlier that day.

Supporters included Wil Wheaton and US Senator Cory Booker:

The page offered several rewards for donations, including the chance to wear Burton's visor from Star Trek: the Next Generation, Reading Rainbow app subscriptions, books, autographed memorabilia, dinner with Burton and an appearance in a video field trip.

This isn't the first time that a Kickstarter campaign has hit a million within 24 hours. Kristen Bell's campaign last year to get a Veronica Mars movie funded for $2 million reached the mark in five hours. The campaign for the video game Torment hit a million in seven hours and the campaign for the OUYA gaming console did so in eight hours.

Burton previously brought back the series in 2012 as a tablet app with interactive books and video field trips. The current project will make it available for more kids on more platforms.

Burton said: "Just being on tablets simply won't get the job done for way too many of our families. This Kickstarter campaign is about reaching every web-connected child. Universal access. Thousands of more books than what we have now. And hundreds of more video field trips."

The Kickstarter had until July 2 to hit its goal. As always, the money would only go to the project if it hit the total pledge mark. While many of us are too old for Reading Rainbow (but not too old to enjoy a good book), it's nice to know that future generations will still have the program in their lives.


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