Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reading Rainbow revival

Today it was all over Facebook: LeVar Burton is reviving Reading Rainbow, a public broadcasting show that many of kids in my generation and later generations grew up with.  The show was canceled a few years back.  Apparently they launched an app a couple of years ago, and it's been so popular that they have decided to launch it on the Internet, too, with free access to low-income schools (the places where reading encouragement is really needed the most).

To raise the funds to do this, they launched a Kickstarter campaign today, with an initial goal of $1 million.  They reached their goal by 6pm in my time zone, the very first day!  And the funding is still climbing: Currently, it's at $1.5 million, and only seems to have slowed down because of the late hour.

I can remember watching Reading Rainbow as a kid.  I have fond memories of that show -- I think I remember discovering it when we stayed for several weeks with my grandparents when I was six or seven, and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to find it on our TV when we went home again.  Of course I was an early reader, and by the time we discovered Reading Rainbow I was quite a bit beyond the reading level it was geared for, but I still always loved the show.

I hope others who have fond memories of Reading Rainbow will consider making at least a small donation to the Kickstarter campaign.  It's a worthy cause, getting the show going again online -- and giving disadvantaged classrooms free access.  Obviously there are many who agree with me, if the Kickstarter campaign was fully funded -- and then some -- on only its first day, but let's send them off with more than they bargained for!

Let's get our kids reading and give future generations access to the wonderful show we ourselves grew up with!

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