About this project
A version of our video with CLOSED CAPTIONS is available here.
Jul 1 - FINAL ADD-ON REWARDS IN UPDATE 26: For our final 24 hours, we've added limited edition DODOcases, Picnic Blankets, downloadable episodes of the original series and a live online event with Donald Glover & LeVar... from a boat!
Jun 27 - MORE HUGE NEWS IN UPDATE 22: We've entered the Top 5 Kickstarter Projects... and the other four (Pebble, OUYA, Pono, Veronica Mars) have ALL offered special new rewards to help us get into more schools! Read more now!
Important updates, in case you missed them:
STRETCH GOALS #1: What we can do if we reach $5,000,000!
- T-SHIRT DESIGNS: Three limited-edition designs to choose from!
- ADD-ON REWARDS: Instructions for adding more rewards!
- ORIGINAL DVDs: Now available as reward add-ons!
Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from ROOTS, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
You also may have grown up with me on Reading Rainbow.
It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could "go anywhere" and "be anything." Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me.
Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors. Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world.
Now, I am hoping you will join me on my mission: to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.
Together, we can change the lives of millions of children. But you don't have to take my word for it: just keep reading!
I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children… and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility.
And here’s the problem:
And: numerous studies reveal that children who can't read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
And: as of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well educated than the one before.
These problems won't solve themselves. Real change will require us all to work together. We cannot afford to lose generations of children to illiteracy. And if we work together, we don't have to.
Through Reading Rainbow, we've been working to solve these problems for over three decades. Starting in 1983, Reading Rainbow successfully used television to turn generations of kids into lifelong readers... with great results.
Of course, when Reading Rainbow began in 1983, we were using television to bring books to kids, meeting them where they wanted to be. In 2014, TV is not that place anymore. Now, we’re trying to reach a new generation of digital natives.
That’s why, two years ago, I launched the Reading Rainbow App for tablets. Building on the basics of the television series, we put hundreds of quality books – and educational video field trips – right in a child’s hands.
The response has been encouraging:
But despite this progress, there are big challenges left to face.
First, not all families have access to tablets. Our goal is to cultivate a love of reading in all children, not just those that have tablets. To reach kids everywhere, we need to be everywhere: we need to be on the web, on mobile devices, on game consoles and on connected televisions.
Second, a resounding number of teachers have told me that they want Reading Rainbow in their classrooms, where they know it can make a difference. We will provide it, along with the tools that teachers need, including teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards. And with your help, we'll provide it to thousands of disadvantaged classrooms for FREE.
Every Home. Reading Rainbow’s digital collection already contains hundreds of books and video field trips… but with your help, we’ll be able to make the Reading Rainbow library available on more of the devices modern kids use to consume content. Now that we've met our initial goal of $1,000,000, we will be able to launch a new version of Reading Rainbow on the single most-used digital platform: the web. And now that we've reached our stretch goal of$5,000,000, we'll also be able to bring the service to mobile phones, Android, game consoles like XBOX and PlayStation, and set-top boxes like AppleTV and ROKU.
Every Classroom. Together, we want to provide Reading Rainbow to as many classrooms as possible FOR FREE! Now that we've reached our stretch goal of $5,000,000, we'll be able to provide year-long subscriptions in over 7,500 classrooms – and every additional $100K we raise lets us help 500 more!
No matter how much we raise, we promise that every dollar you pledge will bring Reading Rainbow to more platforms, and provide it for free in more classrooms.
We can make sure that millions of kids learn to love reading, but we can’t do it without you. That's why I hope you’ll join me in making a difference!
I believe that spreading the love of reading is its own greatest reward. But if you're going to join our cause, we also have some wonderful prizes. But you don't have to take my word for it... Take a look!
Aside from the signed book, the rewards above will be available to anyone who pledges!
But we also have several LIMITED EDITION rewards... so be sure to get them before we run out! (And if we DO run out, keep checking back -- we'll do our best to add more when we can!)
Or, if you prefer, you can also pledge for a reward package that will be gifted to the classroom or school of your choice!
And, if you're just interested in Star Trek related rewards, and don't want all of the Reading Rainbow goodies above, we've also got a few special reward levels created just for you:
This Kickstarter – and Reading Rainbow – couldn't happen alone, so I want you to meet the full team behind our Kickstarter.
Everytime I walk into the office, I am reminded that the Reading Rainbow team is made up of passionate, talented artists, producers, engineers, and so many more. Most of them grew up on the show, have families of their own now, and dedicate their working day to improving the lives of the next generation.
It's an honor to be surrounded by my Reading Rainbow family every day, and we can't wait for you to join us. And if you do, you'll be hearing from several of us throughout the campaign, and after that, in our backer updates. Click on the picture below to learn more about us!
Risks and challenges
The real risks and challenges we face don't lie in completing this project, but in the problems that we'll face without it.
If we raise our minimum funding goal, we do not anticipate ANY significant challenges or risks in completing the project.
As with all Kickstarter projects, there is always a risk of delay in delivering some of the rewards, but we've been careful to give ourselves MORE time than we think we'll need – so we hope we'll have some, or all, of the rewards out SOONER than listed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter