Levar Burton trying to bring back Reading Rainbow - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

'Reading Rainbow' fundraiser reaches goal of $1M

Levar Burton wants to offer 'Reading Rainbow' interactives for children at home and school. (Source: kickstarter.com) Levar Burton wants to offer 'Reading Rainbow' interactives for children at home and school. (Source: kickstarter.com)

(RNN) - The effort to get popular children's show Reading Rainbow back on a screen near you - this time online - has surpassed its goal of $1 million.

Levar Burton, known for his roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million to bring back the show that helped get millions of children interested in reading. The campaign is designed to create a new version of the show available to children who have access to the internet.

"For 30 years we've excited generations of children about books, and connected those books to the world we live in. I am incredibly proud that over 13 million books and video field trips have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of children on tablets and that we're the number one educational app for kids. However, just being on tablets simply won't get the job done for way too many of our families," Burton said.

Burton wants to bring an unlimited library of interactive books and video field trips to kids everywhere.

He will offer a "classroom version" of the program for teachers and also a nonprofit that will give copies of Reading Rainbow to low-income schools for free.

Reading Rainbow aired from 1983 to 2009 with the purpose of showing children the importance of reading to gain knowledge. The popular show also won more than 200 broadcast awards.

The campaign's mission is to change the lives of millions of children by increasing literacy and Burton offers possible rewards for donating, such as getting to wear his famous Star Trek visor.

"We can make sure that millions of kids learn to love reading, but we can't do it without you. That's why I hope you'll join me in making a difference," Burton said.

On kickstarter.com supporters pledged anywhere from $5 to $10,000. Wednesday, the first day of the campaign, saw more than 24,000 backers pledge toward the effort.

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