Best known for his acting role in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and his earlier work in “Roots”, LeVar Burton also starred as the host, and was executive producer, of a popular educational PBS series called the “Reading Rainbow from 1983-2006.
To bring the award winning show, and its tablet based app form, into schools for free, Burton made a video plea online on Kickstarter on Wednesday morning. As a testament to its popularity and perceived value, Burton had received over $1 million in less than 11 hours.
Watch the LeVar Burton Kickstarter video below:
Through his work with the “Reading Rainbow,” Burton was able to get kids excited about reading by incorporating music and animation into the production. More than 200 awards, including 26 Emmys, later Burton combined parts of the show tablet interactivity to continue to engage kids and excite them about reading.
Using the funds raised through Kickstarter, Burton aims to bring “Reading Rainbow” to 1,500 classrooms in need of free access to the content. Additionally, Burton has plans to build a web version and a subscription classroom component.
The LA time reported that “more than 5,000 people contributed $5-$10; more than 7,000 gave $50 or more to receive a “Reading Rainbow” T-shirt, mug, or tote bag (for books).”
The “Reading Rainbow” fund raising campaign on Kickstarter will remain open for donations through July 2.