Back in 2006, the entertainment world got noticeably darker with the cancellation of LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow. Now, though, thanks to the show's beloved host and the invention of Kickstarter, we're finally getting our chance to reclaim some small part of our childhood. So, you know, give generously.
We haven't seen Reading Rainbow since reruns stopped airing in 2009, but Burton released an iPad app in 2012 that allows kids to read stories or have the stories read to them. Problem is, though, not a ton of kids have access to tablet computers, and Burton has long wanted his educational work to be as widely accessible as possible.
Enter the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, which Burton launched today with that goal in mind. He's seeking $1,000,000 to bring Reading Rainbow back to the kids, albeit in a more web-based format. In addition, however, he hopes to use the money to create a version of the show specifically for classroom use, right down to teacher resources. In fact, reaching the $1,000,000 goal will put that incarnation of Reading Rainbow in upwards of 1,500 classrooms free of charge.
"You take advantage of where kids are," Burton said in an interview with The Verge. "Back in the 80s that was in front of the television set. Today, you have to have access to the web. Universal access is really what this effort is all about."
And, of course, if that's not enough, consider the generous Reading Rainbow-related donation swag. $50 will nab you a coffee mug, but for the early childhood development-obsessed high rollers among us, there is a $10,000 donation option that'll get you some to alone with Geordi's visor from Star Trek.
So, no, no real gadgets to take home. But, then, the real winners here are, as always with Reading Rainbow, the kids. Time to put up or shut up.