I was a little too old for the PBS show Reading Rainbow, by the time it surfaced I was already a teenager who was reading on a daily basis (and I still do). But I have a love and appreciation for anything that makes children want to read. And that’s exactly what LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign is aiming to do, get more kids to read.
Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere. That’s what he named it and it seems like it’s pretty straightforward, to be honest. Enough people think the same way as I do, and this crowdfunding project was fully funded in less than a day. Yep, over a million bucks in under twenty-four hours. And actually, at the time of this article being written, it’s over the three million mark!
Read more and watch the Kickstarter campaign video below.
Now, don’t be confused, this Kickstarter isn’t bringing back the television program. It’s working off an existing platform that Burton built where he delivered similar content to tablets. This fundraiser is to expand upon the concept of tablet applications and create a web-based approach that is accessible from any computer, anywhere. And while the promise is to deliver it free to underprivileged schools, there will be a charge for the general public to access the content. That is, I suppose, to help fund more books and video field trips. And I completely understand the need for the funding. I pledged some money myself because I love the concept. And while not every child has access to a computer at home, far fewer have tablets so I can see the need to expand the demographic.
It’s a great cause and just the concept of having helped children become more proficient at reading should be reward enough. But if it’s not, there are a slew of rewards available from which to choose. For as little as five dollars you can get your name on the website’s thank you page. For ten, you get a tweet from the group thanking you! Twenty-five sees you with a digital copy of a special episode and everything I already mentioned. Plus there are t-shirts, mugs, stickers, magnets, signed photos, and much, much more available at different levels of donations…far too many to list, in fact.
But again, it’s really about the kids. As it was so blatantly put: one out of four children in America will grow up illiterate. And that just cannot be allowed to happen. You know it shouldn’t. And to that point, in the twenty minutes it has taken me to compose this article more than fifty thousand dollars from over four hundred people has been added to the already spectacular total. How amazing is that?
Please, take a look at this campaign. It’s got its heart in the right place, just as I hope yours is. I am so ridiculously passionate about reading and it pains me to think that a quarter of the kids my country won’t experience the joy of reading. If you can’t grasp that then realize that while you have been able to read every word of this article, a lot of folks cannot. Through no fault of their own, our system has failed them. That’s the point here. It’s about doing something for the community, for the children.
Don’t hesitate for too long, as this Kickstarter ends on July 2, 2014. So check out the official Kickstarter page and the video from the page below, then dig deep to help out a worthy cause. Please.