I am a child of the 80s and I grew up taking LeVar Burton’s word for it. Some of the books were terrible, some were delightful, I never saw a LOT of the books, but that’s mostly because I watched well past the age the featured books were geared for.
The show was great. Beyond great.
Yes, it kindled a love of reading, but even more it kindled a thirst for knowledge.
Each program took me somewhere new, introduced new ideas, and explained a lot of things about how the world worked. And it made me want to know more. I took the knowledge garnered during the show and I looked for more to add to it, to build upon it a greater understanding of how to do things.
That’s a hard feat to accomplish. To keep a child’s attention engaged for 30 minutes, delight them, educate them, and leave them wanting more? Best showmanship ever.
And the plug was pulled in 2009. It ran from the year I was born – 1983 – until 5 years ago. Impressive, but the format and delivery mechanisms were just too outdated.
Still, the world needs butterflies in the sky…now more than ever.
How do I know? Because the world spoke out.
LeVar Burton took Reading Rainbow to the people, creating a kickstarter asking for 1 million dollars to improve the minds of EVERY child EVERYwhere.
It was done in 11 hours. The project is fully funded, already up to 1.5 million at the time of this writing, and it still has 34 days to go.
That tells me people are desperate for quality educational entertainment options for their children. I’ve seen some of the programming available now and shudder.
That tells me this man has not only earned my trust, but the trust of my entire generation, and in his work we find hope for the next generation. What more noble cause is there, what better use of our resources, than the betterment of our entire culture?
I’d much rather youths today take LeVar’s word for it much as I did.
Let them be inspired. Let them fly twice as high.
Take a look.
It’s in a book…or tablet…or website…
A Reading Rainbow.
Yes, Mr. Burton, with much respect, we’ll make sure there’s a next time.