Like just about every other person my age, I grew up on Reading Rainbow. LeVar Burton’s enthusiasm for reading and learning and his complete faith that books opened all possibilities was so inspiring, and he’s kept that positivity and passion and dedication to helping children find their own love of reading for over 30 years. I loved the show when I was a kid, but I lost track of it a bit as I grew up. I was thrilled when a friend of mine shared a link for a Reading Rainbow Kickstarter. Even though the television show was cancelled in 2006, the RR team has kept the dream alive, first with an amazingly popular app for iPad and Kindle Fire, and now with their new project: to create Reading Rainbow on the web so that anyone can access it, not just have it tied to specific devices. They want to greatly expand the books and video field trips they already have, and they want to be able to offer Reading Rainbow to classrooms in need free of charge, so that every child can have the opportunity to discover their own love of reading. It is American-focused, but the wonderful thing about being web-based means that children worldwide will be able to take advantage of the content.
The Kickstarter began May 28 with the goal of raising $1,000,000 in 35 days. They raised it in 11 hours. I have the page open as I’m writing this, and a day in it’s at $1,548, 554. Oops, $1,548, 669. I mean, $1,549,064. $1,549,164. $1,549,174. Over 33,000 backers who say that reading is important, and that a love of reading is equally as important as the skill itself. People who have donated anywhere from $5 to $10,000. It’s amazing, and heartwarming, and hopeful. Books teach, books connect, and books inspire, like nothing else can, and it’s so vitally important to pass these things on to the next generation.
So I absolutely encourage everybody to donate to this. Even just the $5, if that’s all you can spare–$5 times 33,000 people sure adds up. It’s already added up to $1,551,675. $1,551,740. $1,552,685. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
I’ll see you next time!