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Levar Burton, Reading Rainbow

The classic children’s program, “Reading Rainbow,” will reach a new generation of readers thanks to a groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign that raised over $1 million dollars in just one day.

Levar Burton organized the Kickstarter campaign to “bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.” 

The million dollar goal was set to be reached by July 2, but thanks to close to 23,000 donors, it took less than 24 hours.

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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.

The online campaign, fueled by buzz generated on social media, surpassed $1 million shortly before 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Burton, the creator and host of PBS’ series Reading Rainbowfrom 1983 to 2006, launched the Kickstarter project earlier in the day.

Among the big-name supporters of the campaign throughout the day were U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Burton’s fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Wil Wheaton

Burton previously revived Reading Rainbow in 2012 as a tablet app filled with interactive books and video field trips. This new project will expand the availability to more platforms.

“Just being on tablets simply won’t get the job done for way too many of our families,” he said in a video (below) promoting the campaign. “This Kickstarter campaign is about reaching every web-connected child. Universal access. Thousands of more books than what we have now. And hundreds of more video field trips.”


Burton responded to supporters of the successful endeavor on Twitter by saying simply:

At the time this article was posted, $1,416,712 had been raised by 31,200 donors.


‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Earns Over $1 Million In 1 Day  was originally published on