LeVar Burton Answers ‘Reading Rainbow’ Questions On Reddit AMA

This has got to be one of the best weeks of LeVar Burton‘s career. If you haven’t heard yet, his Kickstarter effort for the reboot of his popular children’s show, Reading Rainbow, was strongly supported by the fans, and managed to rake in $2.7 million as of writing. That’s quite a bit more than Burton expected to receive for the project; the goal was $1 million, and there’s still 33 days to go before the campaign comes to a close.

And because the overwhelming clamor for the TV show could not be contained, it seems like the Reading Rainbow reboot is really going to happen, and LeVar Burton is very excited about it!

LeVar Burton visited Reddit’s popular AMA to express his thanks for the wonderful support he received and to answer some pressing questions regarding Reading Rainbow and the Kickstarter project. Here are some amazing questions and Burton’s answer to them:

Redditor Nygmus asked:

“How did you initially get involved with the Reading Rainbow? I grew up with the show but I’m sadly unfamiliar with the original history of it, and wonder if there are any interesting stories there.”

“In addition, congratulations on the Reading Rainbow kickstarter’s monumental success!”

LeVar Burton answered:

“We aired the first episode of Reading Rainbow May 30, 1983. There were crickets, initially, you know? However, we hung in there. And it took about 3 or 4 years before we sort of picked up some steam, because it was teachers who discovered us first, again, people who are at this “point of purchase” – in the classrooms, on the ground, working with kids, helping them further their mission in the classrooms. Reading Rainbow was never about teaching kids to read, it was about fostering a LOVE for the written word. And then slowly but surely, we began to get some traction in homes, and then the research we were doing began to show that among kids who were watching the program during the summer, their reading & comprehension skills were not just being maintained, they were improving, so we knew we were onto something. Again, it’s not rocket science, right? Although there was a rocket in the introduction. Touche. But we had to look at the population we wanted to reach, and how we could access them, and it was the technology that gave us access, and we came to that audience with a message we believed in. We believed that educating kids could seem like it was effortless, that they would actually gravitate towards it, because we made it fun and exciting.”

Redditor internationalwombat asked:

“How do you feel about your kickstarter reaching its goal so quickly?”LeVar Burton answered:

“I am overwhelmed. Yesterday was an amazing day and quite emotional. To have reached our goal in roughly 11 hours was beyond our wildest imaginings. The fact that so many people have become a part of this, and are donating $1, $5, $10 – this is, I believe, a response to the need for people to feel like they can make a difference. It’s been interesting, because along this journey we have heard from many people in terms of our business model – do you think Reading Rainbow is still relevant? Yesterday proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the relevancy of Reading Rainbow’s mission. AND the importance of reading in this culture.”

Redditor iskyoork asked:

“Hi! Reading Rainbow and ST:TNG were huge parts of my childhood and I would like to thank you for that!”

“Any recommendations on a good book?”

LeVar Burton answered:

“Right now, I am reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.”

“It’s summertime, and summer reading for me means escaping into a world that I can feel swept away by. And Tartt is that kind of writer for me.”

“But you don’t have to take my word for it.”

Make sure to read the rest of LeVar Burton’s AMA here. Burton’s answers to most questions are priceless, and give us an interesting peek on what we can expect to see in the upcoming version of the Reading Rainbow.

[Image from Bing]