“LeVar Burton has found a pot of gold at the end of Reading Rainbow, reports the New York Daily News.” The former host’s Reading Rainbow app raised $1 million in 24 hours on Kickstarter.
Burton, also known as Star Trek’s engineer, bought the name of the PBS children’s series, which aired from 1983 to 2009. He’s started a company to bring “Reading Rainbow’s” digital library of books and videos to classrooms and homes.
Burton’s RRKidz, which produces a Reading Rainbow tablet app, is a for-profit company, not a charity, writes Caitlin Dewey in a Washington Post blog. It will be available to teachers for a monthly subscription — not free.
The app features book read-alongs and “video field trips.” Like the show, it fosters interest in reading but doesn’t teach reading skills, writes Dewey.
However, the app may not reach many low-income children. The Kickstarter funds will be used to put the app on desktop computers, while low-income families are much more likely to use phones to access the Internet.
Teachers already can access many episodes of the show for free via YouTube.