In less than half a day, Internet users were able to raise $1 million on Kickstarter to help Levar Burton bring back the classic children’s show Reading Rainbow. Nearly 23,000 individuals donated to the cause, allowing for Reading Rainbow to now be available to a new generation through a web version for families at home, the creation of a classroom version for teachers, and free access to Reading Rainbow for schools in need, institutions that may not be able to afford it.
Burton had revived Reading Rainbow back in 2012 as a tablet app but knew back then that something more needed to be done for the program to have the same effect on kids that it used to. “Just being on tablets simply won’t get the job done for way too many of our families,” Burton said, when promoting this new campaign. “This Kickstarter campaign is about reaching every web-connected child. Universal access. Thousands of more books than what we have now. And hundreds of more video field trips.”
The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign had until July 2nd to reach its goal of $1 million, and it’s not the first project that has used Kickstarter and reached its goal in only a day. Last year, Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and show creator Rob Thomas were looking to get $2 million from fans for a Veronica Mars movie, and the campaign hit over $1 million in less than five hours. Similarly, different video game campaigns have also reached their fundraising goals within less than 24 hours.
While I love movies and video games and am incredibly happy that projects like the Veronica Mars movie and Zach Braff’s Wish You Were Here found funding on Kickstarter, I’m even happier to see that Reading Rainbow reached its goal in such a short period of time. This is a project that will not just entertain but also educate individuals, and any cause that can do both of those is worth it in my book.
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