Published on: May 30, 2014by Kevin Coupe
Many parents have very fond memories of "Reading Rainbow," the old PBS television show that featured LeVar Burton and focused on getting kids to read - an admirable mission that the show approached with imagination and "video field trips" that brought the books' subjects to life. Full disclosure: In another life, more than 30 years ago, I actually did public relations for the show, and spent some time with Burton during one publicity tour.
The show went off the air in 2006, but has maintained a fan base; Burton's production company bought rights to the series, and developed an application for tablet computers. The goal, however, was to do something bigger…
And so this week, Kickstarter - the crowdfunding site - started a campaign to raise $1 million to fund a new iteration of "Reading Rainbow." It reached the goal in less than 24 hours.
According to Mashable, "The money from nearly 23,000 donors will be used to bring Burton's cult TV classic to a new generation of readers by building a web version for families at home, creating a classroom version for teachers and providing free access to it for schools in need … Like every Kickstarter campaign, Burton's project offered several levels of rewards to supporters based on how much they individually donated. Rewards this time included a chance to wear Burton's 'Star Trek' visor, 'Reading Rainbow' app subscriptions, books, autographed memorabilia, dinner with Burton and an appearance in a video field trip."
It speaks to the power of consumers and the power of a great idea when they come together … it is an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: