LeVar Burton Wants To Bring Reading Rainbow To Game Consoles

LeVar Burton Wants To Bring Reading Rainbow To Game Consoles

By now you’ve probably seen the extraordinarily successful Kickstarter campaign for Reading Rainbow, the TV show hosted actor LeVar Burton that helps teach kids to love reading books.

They have already raised $US2.8 million for the project, which hopes to bring the show to children everywhere. Naturally, they want to make more money. And one of their next big stretch goals is all about video game consoles.

From the latest Reading Rainbow update:

We’ve been reading your comments and suggestions, and we couldn’t agree more: to be accessible to more kids and families, we need to be on MOBILE DEVICES. We also need to be on ANDROID. And for families and classrooms — especially those that can’t afford computers or tablets for each child — we also need to be on connected devices that can put Reading Rainbow back on the television: both the most common GAMING CONSOLES kids use, like XBOX and Playstation, and on new OVER THE TOP (OTT) BOXES like AppleTV, Roku and Kindle Fire TV.

So if they hit $US5 million, you might be able to get Reading Rainbow on your Xboxes and PlayStations soon. Cool stuff. TEAM #BOOKS.

Thanks Matthew!


  • This is a celebrity backed kickstarter done right. Levar is an amazing man with a true love for education and welfare. In my eyes people backing this are investing in their kids own futures. Well done to them!!!

  • Unfortunately I cannot agree with your sentiment. He’s not providing the reading rainbow series to anyone free access. He is effectively obtaining free funding for his own gain and then selling the end product to schools/people on a subscription basis.

    It really is a bit shitty what he’s doing considering the original Reading Rainbow was run by PBS (a free to air series) and his whole premise is to help disadvantaged kids. 1500 “classrooms” is in reality not a heck of a lot when you think about it.

    • Just a thought here,

      Sure PBS funded it, but it also meant it was distributed on a medium that required one thing…..funding. The same thing as Facebook and commercial free-to-air broadcasters. What you may think is free, isn’t as in some way, shape or form the organisation is making money from one thing, the consumers.

      While PBS wasn’t selling targeted ads based on your submitted data or general advertising (which is a portion of the total aired content), it still ran a lot of pledge drives to keep things running. In fact, PBS has a bit of a reputation for their pledge drives, which can take up significant programming time.

      Also of note is that while they will be running a pretty comprehensive distribution platform, Reading Rainbow will need funds both up-front and ongoing to do what they need to do. However as you may not have noticed, they are pledging to provide these services to schools most in need at no/little cost. The more they fund, the more they can do.

      Having it as a subscription service is not a bad thing, this really is down to two things, content and cost. If both are acceptable, it will be a popular platform. When you consider how much it costs to provide resources to a classroom, it could be a very cost effective alternative to existing (and possibly outdated) tools.

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