By: Mark Harris
This is just in: the Kickstarter campaign for the revitalization of Reading Rainbow was a success. The show, which was hosted on PBS by Levar Burton, was a staple for kids during the 80’s. The show lasted until 2006 and aired for the last time in 2009. Levar Burton and Mark Wolfe kept pushing by selling Reading Rainbow as a successful iPad app in 2012. Still, this success did not deter them from reaching one of their ultimate goals.
Their ultimate goal is this: to spread the reach of Reading Rainbow across the globe to as many classrooms as possible. That goal became a realistic accomplishment on May 28th, 2014. The goal was to reach $1,000,000 in funds to bring Reading Rainbow back via the internet. They had 35 days to reach a goal that seemed plausible at the time. Only hard work and good will would see if they would achieve that generous goal.
Well, generosity won out this time because all it took was 11 hours to raise those million dollars. Yes, you read it right: all of this greatness happened in less than half a day.
I don’t know about you all, but this excites me.
For one, this entire project is being done for the betterment of children and literacy. I know many people that act as if education should only happen in the classroom. They are usually dead wrong. The problem with education (for many students) is that it is restricted to the school house. Education happens every moment you are not sleeping (depending on your dreams, of course). So, having a fully funded project used to eradicate educational barriers is always a plus.
Another reason that this situation brings me joy deals with the fact that I practically grew up on Reading Rainbow. You can call it a feeling of nostalgia. You can call it the preservation of a “sacred cow”. Both observations would be correct. In the end, it always feels good to see the positive things of your past become revitalized for the present and future.
So, hats off to Mark Wolfe, Levar Burton, and all those that supported Reading Rainbow. You just did the world a great service. You helped kids become readers. And readers become thinkers. And thinkers become agents of change and progression.