by LeVar Burton & Reading Rainbow
Definitely incorporate a "donations" button available once everything is up and running. That way we can continue to contribute to this cause once the kickstarter is done. :)
Since the project is on web, I presume you have HTML5 and JS. This will work natively in platforms such as Windows Phone. Any chance reading rainbow will get ported to these platforms?
I love Reading Rainbow! It helped to instill a love of reading when I was younger and I was saddened to hear that it went off the air a few years ago. One of the things I was amazed to read on the kickstarter pledge page is that 1 in 4 children are illiterate by the fourth grade. This is a huge tragedy and it's shocking. That's something one might expect from a third world country (Reading Rainbow needs to go global!). This country still needs reading rainbow, that's why I was more than happy to donate!
I'm glad I backed this. I just hope that the app for both IOS and Android will be accessible to not only the sighted but also those with disabilities. Apple's Voice Over and Android's Talkback and Brailleback are examples. Hoping this will be the case?
RE: Stretch goal suggestions and general questions
First let me say that you're doing a great job and I believe your cause is very noble.
I am an ESL teacher at a public high school in Japan. Last year we started a project that got our students to read an abridged version of classic novels in simple English. Sometimes they were more of a synopsis, but they were able to read the books then give a little presentation using paper puppets. You can imagine my surprise when I found out recently that the librarians decided to throw out all those books over the spring break. (They had been donated by an English teacher and maybe the librarians thought they weren't being used, despite our talking to them last year and explaining the project we were doing. I don't really understand why this has happened.)
Now I'm trying to figure out how else we can go about our project. It was a big success and the students really liked it. Then I found this kickstarter and as a person who grew up watching Reading Rainbow, I thought it could be the perfect fit.
First my questions: Why are the numbers of classrooms being limited like this? Why are there subscriptions that limit the numbers of children that can access the apps or classroom materials? "EVERY CHILD, EVERYWHERE" is the promise, but with subscriptions this is certainly not the case. How could someone, like myself, living outside of the U.S. get access to these programs? Will there be region locks or restricted access for those outside of the U.S.? Are there going to be licensing issues? As we all know, Reading Rainbow was created with public funds and donations. Who is the current copyright holder?
I really hope this kickstarter is something bigger than a money grab. I want to share my precious childhood memories with the children of today's WORLD (not just those in the U.S.).
So here is my proposed stretch goal: Break $5 million and everything goes opensource, P2P, region and copyright free. Future funding would be provided by public funds and donations as it has always been. I'm sure there are some kind souls in some larger companies who could be convinced to supply some bandwidth or capital to help everything out as well. Clearly everyone has a fond memory of Reading Rainbow. There will never be a lack of funds as long as there are new audience members.
You've done a great thing here. Why don't we all work together to try and make it better?
New Stretch Goal Proposal: Remaster the original series for color and sound and put them on Netflix.
Foreign language books in the stretch goals? Awesome.
To make sure I am clear, please make sure someone official provides information to make sure the story doesn't have the "we haven't received any response" which adds to the slant. Thank you.
Please respond to this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/reading-rainbows-massive-kickstarter-campaign-doesnt-mention
I hope the RR app becomes available in Canada too.
As you think about stretch goals, would you consider thinking about making Reading Rainbow more accessible for kids with disabilities. Kids who are deaf, blind or have print disabilities also love books. I'm a retired teacher who spent lots of my carreer helping kids learn how much fun reading can be, but there are those who are shut out from reading if the books aren't accessible. I'd even volunteer what I know about this if it would help it happen.
For those who don't need the subscription included in our rewards can you make a way for us to give that toward a classroom? I'd hate to even one go unused if it can be used in a school that needs it.
My 3-year-old basically only watches TV via our Roku box - I would love to add a Reading Rainbow channel! I agree with others who would love to have all the original episodes on Netflix to share with him. I always get excited when I get a new picture book for him and it's one that I remember from Reading Rainbow... I'd love to be able to show him the episode!
The overall goal is pretty awesome and something I support. But one thing bugs me a bit about it. I was always disappointed you went with an ipad app in the first place. Talk about exclusivity. While I don't think that having Reading Rainbow on Android is all that important in the face of what you're trying to do for all children everywhere, I have been disappointed for years that there was no Android app and now it requires a 5mil goal to get it when you've had and will continue to have an ipad app that serves a statistically richer demographic? It just seemed a little ironic.
This is great news! If you add additional stretch goals past 5 million perhaps working with programs that help not just children but teens and adults with illiteracy issues could be developed? As well as getting back on PBS, and adding Netflix and Hulu as service delivery options. Im so excited to be a small part of something that is so huge. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to make a difference in a world that just seems to not care anymore. Sincerely it feels like such an honor.
Many younger families that we know, especially with limited budgets, are forgoing cable and other media options for Netflix capable media systems. While it may seem this overlaps with putting the RR content on the web many parents of young children are much or likely to turn something on the TV through Netflix for their children than let therm on the Web. This is particularly true if there is only one computer than an adult or older child needs to use, or if the parent is looking to park the child in front of the TV to get something else done.
Love this project and some of the suggestions to bring it to many electronic devices. Let's not forget that a lot of the people that need something like Reading Rainbow might not have the electronic devices that many of us have. I hope that this will reach out to schools with the highest need; the ones that maybe can't afford these electronic devices.
How much would it take to Bring you back to PBS.
I am so excited about this project. Thank you LeVar and the RR family. As a second grade teacher, here are a couple of things that can make or break using a website in my classroom: if it needs Flash I can use on certain devices and if it doesn't have flash I can use it on others. I need BOTH because it is rare to have all of just ONE type of device in the classroom. I have a couple of iPads, a couple of Chromebooks and my teacher laptop which my school system refuses to but MSWord on. We are a strictly Google-based district because it's free. So if it doesn't work on the iPad or with GoogleDocs/Drive etc., it doesn't work for us. I cannot WAIT to be able to access RR in my classroom! Thank you thank you thank you!
This was the ONE show I would not miss as a child. I have nieces and nephews (ages 8 and under) who have all been exposed to the show through the app. This makes me happier than I could ever say!
My childhood was quite literally devoid of toys and age appropriate books. Reading Rainbow and other basic television programming were my only exposure to books outside of school. Today, I'm an avid reader and an aspiring author. This is such a deserving project! I donated what I could and I've posted about the Kickstarter three times on Facebook. It would be great if there were a badge and/or banner we could use to promote the cause as well!
There have been a lot of projects on Kickstarter that were successfully funded, that were a lot less worthy of our time, attention, and money.
This project is actually worth our time and money.
This is, hands down, the best Kickstarter campaign. I grew up watching Reading Rainbow, which I am sure that many of the backers did. @LeVar Burton keep up the great work.
I just want to say how excited I am to be a backer. Reading Rainbow was such a huge part of my childhood. As soon as it's on Android, my daughters (age 2 and 5) will be enjoying it as well.
Have you guys thought of doing some books aimed at the younger crowd--such as "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" or Sandra Boynton books for the youngest book lovers like my 2 year old?
I've donated using one of the "Adopt a Classroom" contributions. I'm hoping that the classroom of "My choice" is one in a foreign country. I won't change my contribution, even if I can't. I just think that in countries where English is an official language, Reading Rainbow would be an excellent tool to increase proficiency in English and literacy overall. I'd like to choose a class in the Philippines if I can, but if not I'll choose one that's local.
So sorry guys! Didnt mean to post twice, and cant figure out how to delete it!
Hi everyone! I pledged 5k towards this project, and am overly wxcited at the prospect of bringing this to my old inner city school, that was the catalyst in my intense love of reading. I am curious though, if i would also receive the honor of meeting Mr.Burton with my pledge, even if only briefly. My seedling of an organization rewards kids for learning with toys. Mr. Burton is fully aware what needs to be done to inspire our children to learn and become productive members of society. Please forgive the incinclusion of my link, as i shy away from spamming techniques, but i am intensely passionate about creating an educated and curious society. I am funding everything 100% out of pocket and just want to meet the genius who will help kickstart a new method of teaching that implements technology and keeps up with our changing needs. Www.coyounity.com. I need help! And hes the guy to help!
Ivan here, from the Reading Rainbow team. Just wanted to respond to a FEW of your comments, because they're still coming in much too fast for us to respond to all of them -- but we love reading them, and we love you guys. :)
@Anna -- We've been talking about the book reports a LOT, and would love to find a good place to integrate them. We'd love to hear your ideas!
@mrzak: Our goal is to send daily updates, at least, until the campaign ends -- and then to settle into a regular update schedule after that. I know it's important to LeVar and Mark to make sure all of our backers know what's going on.
@Aimee -- We hear you! The good news is, even those older computers should still be able to run the web-based version of Reading Rainbow. And we're exploring a few other possibilities too. More news when we have it!
@Shane -- Thanks for the suggestions. We've got a LOT of things planned for this month, including a lot of new rewards. (We're still lining up some of the coolest rewards!) And we agree -- our original stretch goal was going to be smaller, but since we were already approaching $3,000,000, we wanted to make sure it was enough of a goal to let us STRETCH!
@Bartholomew -- That's a GREAT illustration of LeVar! It's so exciting for the whole team to see stuff like this. And we've actually got some ideas in the works to draw on the talent and creativity of our community. Stay tuned!
@Domagoj -- We understand and agree. Believe us when we say that no one works at Reading Rainbow because we expect to get rich. The reason we're a for-profit company is because the government/PBS no longer fund the program. Money lets us hire a staff to keep creating more Reading Rainbow, but it's not the GOAL. The goal is to keep pursuing the mission LeVar has been on for over 30 years -- and we're glad to have you on that mission with us!
@Erin -- We're absolutely working on ways to let backers who don't want their subscriptions donate them to others, or to schools. We'll share more details when we have them!
@Shannon -- we just added another reward level for LeVar to follow even more backers on Twitter! :)
@Patrick -- we're doing our best to make sure that we add rewards that won't take any money away from the actual mission of the Kickstarter (like Twitter follows, Skype chats, signed headshots, and more). But oddly enough, the subscription rewards are MORE expensive than several other rewards, because we have to pay authors and publishers royalties for each book a child accesses. (That's the biggest reason the service can't just be 100% free to everyone!)
@Jonathan Grant -- We know it's a lot of platforms, but we promise, we've been doing the math and researching potential partners and specialists we could hire to help with porting the app to more platforms. We intend for all platforms to connect to a central login, so that your account works across whatever platforms you want to use, but we'll be careful not to spread so thin we jeopardize the project.
@Amanda -- We hear you! (And @Gregory, we hear you too!) We're definitely looking for ways to increase the value of rewards for backers, but ideally, to do it without increasing the costs too much. We'll tell you more about our plans as the campaign goes on!
Thanks so much for the enthusiasm, passion, and for continuing to help spread the word. We'll do our best to answer more questions over the weekend. :D
My favorite part of Reading Rainbow as a child was always the kids' book reviews at the end. I'm not sure what the best way to incorporate this into the app would be, but I would love to see it!
$6,000 came in while I was typing my comment. Good job everyone!
I hope we keep getting daily updates. Some people (mistakenly) think that people will drop from the kickstarter if they're inundated with updates, but the truth is everyone getting those updates wants this project to succeed, and the updates serve as a good reminder to keep getting the word out. Plus it's a great sign that you guys are working hard to make this as successful as possible, which only serves to get people increasing their pledges because they're really excited for the project.
Anyway, I'm very happy (and not surprised) to see this reach $3 million on the third night. It'll probably take another three days to make $5 million but the sooner you can talk about stretch goals beyond that, the more motivated people will be to donate more and help you get there.
Thrilled to contribute to the comeback of RR, a show that brought reading into the lives and homes of so many, many children. Even more pleased to have heard about it through one of those children, my now adult son. Good luck LeVar... S-T-R-E-T-C-H!
One thing to think about: As people and businesses upgrade their technology with the latest and greatest, often times older models are donated to schools. (In the early 2000s, I taught computer to a whole school with nothing but donated 386s and 486s in 8 and 16 bit color!) Don't forget that some schools may be running older software. In our own family, we cannot afford a new iPad and had one gifted to us. We are unable to run the RR app because our IOS cannot upgrade that high. :-( Some schools also may be in this situation. Please don't leave them out!!
Also I second the suggestion of foreign language books. It would be a wonderful tool to help teach languages. And audio!!! My son is dyslexic and is able to listen to stories that are much to advanced for him to actually read.
What a wonderful thing you are doing!!! What a wonderful thing WE are doing!
I hope this project gets above 90,000 supporters.. it could be the largest Launch so far.. very inspiring.. especially that the large masses are pledging $5/10... that's special.
So very exciting to be a part of a program that made my own childhood that much brighter. As someone who worked part of her life in education (and in underprivileged schools), I love that this will be offered to so many classrooms in need free of charge. As a military spouse, I'd also love to see you consider offering it free of charge or at a reduced fee to DoD schools and even military families, especially those of us stationed overseas. Some of us don't have access to English books beyond our own personal libraries. This would mean a lot to have a program as strong and valuable as this at our fingertips, while living and serving overseas. Good luck reaching ALL your goals!
As someone who's backed and seen several high-numbers kickstarter campaigns, a thing I've noticed that really help are stretch goals that work towards "just that little bit further" rather than one big sum, so finding maybe smaller targets to hit along the way towards 5mil would be a better way to insentivize your group of already backers to backing a project even more.
Along those same lines, more rewards. You're going to have to get creative now and find ways to give further rewards to backers so that they want to up their pledge, or give those who are on the fense about backing something to incentivise them to back towards a stretch goal. If you look at game kickstarters like Project Eternity and Torment that raised a lot of money, you'll see that they all had these things and this lead to them having a rather steady increase of pledges over time once the hype wore off right before the final push.
Also I'm on board with the rest of the comments here for pushing the Forign Language Books as well as Forign Language App Translations as soon as possible. It's one thing for a video game to have language options for its consumers, but I believe it is a nessessity for an EDUCATIONAL project of this scale. This would be something I would gladly upgrade my pledge amount for.
Gives me goose bumps every time he closes with "But, you don't have to take my word for it."
I wasn't able to give much but I know how much I loved this show as a child and how much I love to read and see my nieces reading now. I am more than happy to give the little I can spare to keep something POSITIVE going and Levar, thank you for doing it. I am honoured to be even a tiny part of it. x
LeVar, I want my Granddaughter to have the same joy her Dad experienced...enjoy the world of reading, and enjoy it with you. You are a treasure, and I happily backed this wonderful project.
normally, I am not a fan of people cross promoting - but Bart's promotion of his work to promote RR, well, it does my heart good - great comic Bart!!!!! HOORAY for you!!!!
I am so moved by the generosity of people...this is how we should live and support one another.
If we can raise enough it would be great to get this in the hands of children in developing countries. I bet the Gates Foundation, Save the Children, and USAID might get on board with that. Then we could help children all over the world .
I run a small comic strip. I threw a 10 dollar pledge at this; I was a fan as a kid and I am *so* happy to see this come back.
I have a small following, but I am promoting this to my readers--not that I think I have to work very hard. :-)
This is the comic we made: http://ramen-empire.com/strip/first-in-the-hearts-of-his-countrymen/ -- It's a bit silly, but it's a labor of love.
Here is the full resolution file: http://ramen-empire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/RainbowLoveFull.png
If you like it, let us know. We'd be happy if you found a promotional use for it. We're also happy to provide other art assets in the future, if any are needed.
Have a great day! Keep up the great work.
The amount of support for this kickstarter makes me want to cry. Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek TNG were a big part of my childhood. I still have a RR-seal copy of of Hot-Air Henry, and sometimes I used to pull my big, wide hairbands down across my eyes and pretend I was Geordi. Mr. Burton was at the center of many fond childhood memories for me. It is an honor to support this, and I hope we do reach that next stretch goal.
Mr. Mark Wolfe and Mr. LaVar Burton. We have seen similarly funded projects end up lacking because a good portion ended up in entrepreneur's pockets. I hope this not to be the case with Reading Rainbow Kickstarter! I truly believe the funds allocated here will be used to renew a Reading Rainbow, which was instrumental in focusing me to thoroughly love reading, exploring, and imagining. As a kid, Reading Rainbow challenged me! Those challenges helped me persevere, and eventually excel in the the career I am in , and absolutely love. With my pledge, I hope future generations will reach their own personal goals, and I believe it all starts with an enthusiastic effort to, well- just read!; and Reading Rainbow provides just that. Kudos to your team!!!
Thank you LeVar for doing this. I grew up on Reading Rainbow, and now have a kindergarten and a 3 yr old, and an so excited to experience this with them. I wish I could be a part of this, being a Web developer, but wish you the best of luck in this.
A) This is wonderful. B) Is there a way to donate my year-round subscription to a child (i.e., family with a child) who could use it? While I am sure I would enjoy the app as a 30-something adult, I don't have kids and I bet someone can put a year subscription to good use :) Thanks Reading Rainbow Team!
I told my first grade students about this today. They cheered! They are big fans of Reading Rainbow (I have the CDs). One told me he was proud of me for supporting Reading Rainbow! I hope our school is able to get this! Thanks so much Reading Rainbow Team!