May 28, 2014 — -- Millions of children grew up to the show "Reading Rainbow" and now LeVar Burton, its host, wants to bring it back for a new generation. It looks like he'll get that chance.
The actor wants to re-boot the show via a Web series and launched a Kickstarter campaign Wednesday to do it. The campaign has raised almost $1.7 million already, surpassing the goal of $1 million in less than a full day!
"Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from 'ROOTS,' or Geordi La Forge, from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation,'" the actor wrote. "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."
Burton said he has been inspired by Kickstarter over the last year and decided this was the way to get the show, which ran from 1983 to 2006, back on the air in some form.
"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," he added. "Right now, 1 out of every 4 children in America will grow up illiterate."
He continued, "Now, I am hoping you will join me on my mission: to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere."
He noted that "Reading Rainbow" won 26 Emmys and a Peabody award.
"In 2014, TV is not that place anymore. Now, we’re trying to reach a new generation of digital natives," he wrote.
For donors to the campaign, $5 will get you exclusive updates and a special thanks on the website. For $200, you get a 2015 "Reading Rainbow" calendar and a signed copy of Burton's new book. For $600, you even get to chat with Burton for 5 to 10 minutes.