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Another accomplishment beloved broadcaster Sue Simmons can add to her resume? Being indirectly responsible for getting LeVar Burton his hosting gig at Reading Rainbow. In our latest Media Beat  interview, the actor and founder of RRKidz said that, although he’d already done some public TV hosting in Boston, it wasn’t until he came through New York that his career took off.

“I was on my way to Africa, and [Reading Rainbow producers] saw me on a Live at Five interview with Sue Simmons — you didn’t come to New York without sitting down with Sue Simmons on Live at Five — and they saw me, and they tracked me down before I left town and talked to me about the show. They pitched the idea and I thought, ‘This is a no-brainer.’ A half an hour of television in the summer to get the attention of kids where they are, where they’re hanging out, and bring them back to literature? I’m in.”

Part 2: LeVar Burton: By not focusing on reading, “We’re sacrificing our kids”
Part 3: LeVar Burton on How Science Fiction Influences Technology