Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Campaign Raises More Than $1 Million On The First Day, LeVar Burton’s Reaction Is Priceless

Image via Kickstarter/Reading Rainbow

Just one day after going live, the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign has blown expectations out of the water by raising upwards of $1.6 million from more than 36,800 backers and counting.

The campaign, launched by “Reading Rainbow” host and actor LeVar Burton, is a passion project to bring the franchise into the digital age by building a Web format. After building and launching a highly successful “Reading Rainbow” tablet app in 2009, Burton wants to expand the reach to “every child, everywhere” by putting “Reading Rainbow” online with the same unlimited library of interactive books and video field trips.

“First, not all families have access to tablets,” Burton says.

Our goal is to cultivate a love of reading in all children, not just those that have tablets. To reach kids everywhere, we need to be everywhere: We need to be on the Web. Second, a resounding number of teachers have told me that they want “Reading Rainbow” in their classrooms, where they know it can make a difference. We will provide it, along with the tools that teachers need, including teacher guides, leveling and dashboards. And in disadvantaged classrooms, we’ll provide it for free.”

The Kickstarter campaign will fund a Web-enabled “Reading Rainbow” help to create a classroom version with supplementary teaching tools for teachers and subsidize the cost so that the schools most in need can have the program for free.

In addition to launching the Web platform, Burton says that with the first million dollars raised, the project will be able to fund “Reading Rainbow” programs to be in 1,500 schools at no cost to them. The Kickstarter campaign states that they’ll be posting new stretch goals in the next day or two now that they have surpassed their initial $1 million mark.

“Together we can create and deliver a proven tool for encouraging the love of reading to millions of children,” Burton says in the Kickstarter video.

We can genuinely change the world one children’s book at a time. “Reading Rainbow” is back for every child, everywhere. But… you don’t have to take my word for it.”

Burton’s reaction to reaching the million dollar mark is awesome. Watch it below: