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Posts Tagged ‘LeVar Burton’

Reading Rainbow Team Raises $5M+ on Kickstarter

RainbowLeVar Burton (pictured, via) and his collaborators have raised $5 million in 35 days.

In addition to crowdfunded money, actor Seth MacFarlane has agreed to donate $1 million which brings the total to more than $6 million. Now that the campaign has ended, the Reading Rainbow team plans to establish a Reading Rainbow digital library (for the web, mobile devices, game consoles, and Over the Top boxes) and allow 7,500 classrooms to access this library free of charge.

24 hours after the Kickstarter venture launched, supporters had pledged more than $1 million. Follow this link to watch Burton’s reaction video towards the first million. What do you think?

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Reading Rainbow Team Raises $1.4M on Kickstarter For a Digital Library

LeVar Burton and the Reading Rainbow team have raised more than $1.4 million on Kickstarter in one day. With these funds, Burton and his colleagues plan to “Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.”

The collaborators plan to use the first million to establish a Reading Rainbow digital library and to allow 1,500+ classrooms to access this library free of charge. The surplus will go towards “stretch goals” that have not-yet-been revealed. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Below, we’ve embedded a video featuring a Media Beat interview with Burton. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Reading Rainbow’s digital collection already contains hundreds of books and video field trips… but with your help, we’ll be able to make the Reading Rainbow library available on more of the devices modern kids use to consume content. When we meet our initial goal of $1,000,000, we will launch a new version of Reading Rainbow on the single most-used digital platform: the web.”

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3 Million Books Read on Reading Rainbow App

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Kids have read more than three million books using the Reading Rainbow app.

AppNewser has more about the app’s success:

[Burton] teamed up with business partner Mark Wolfe, obtained the rights to the brand and launched the Reading Rainbow app. The free app, published by RRKidz, features more than 300 books, and 50 video field trips as well as classic clips from the TV show aimed at kids aged 3-9. According to iTunes, users have accessed more than 3 million books and video field trips in less than a year since launch.

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LeVar Burton Reveals His Favorite Children’s Books

During a HuffPost Live interview, LeVar Burton revealed that his favorite children’s books are Mary Hoffman‘s Amazing Grace and Derek Munson‘s Enemy Pie.

Watch an excerpt from the interview in the video embedded above. Burton discovered these books while he hosted the Reading Rainbow TV series.

For Burton, working “on that show has enriched my life in so many immeasurable ways.” What was your favorite Reading Rainbow book?

Should LeVar Burton Host Jeopardy?

 

Reading Rainbow host, actor and book app creator LeVar Burton recently tweeted that hosting the quiz show Jeopardy would be “my dream job.” His tweet inspired an online petition that is already nearing 1,000 signatures.

This GalleyCat editor agrees that Burton would make a “intelligent and kind host” for the show (he already starred as a celebrity contestant).

What do you think? Sign the petition at this link.

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Reading Rainbow Auto-Tuned: ‘A Book Lets You Zoom Through Time & Space’

In the video embedded above, Reader Rainbow host LeVar Burton shares the message that introduced an entire generation of readers to books on PBS: “a book lets you zoom through time and space.

Symphony of Science sound artist John D. Boswell created the short and inspiring video, turning classic Reading Rainbow footage into an auto-tuned song. What was your favorite Reading Rainbow book?

Check it out: “For years, LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow have taught kids everywhere about the power of books and imagination. To this day, the show continues to encourage a love of reading and connect children to the world they live in through quality literature — so they can “go anywhere, be anything.” With this remix, John Boswell has captured those enduring lessons in song — a fitting tribute to an important part of PBS history.”

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LeVar Burton: ‘Kids Deserve More & They Will Use What We Give Them’

Many parents worry about how their kids use digital devices. Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton offered some simple advice for making sure our kids get the most out of this new technology. Here’s an excerpt from the video interview (embedded above):

These devices are not going to go away. There’s always going to be a lot of mindless (and mind-numbing) content available. It’s always necessary to have balance, and we want to be a part of that balance. We want to bring the alternative. I think the technology is capable of so much more and kids deserve more. They will use what we give them. I believe all media is educational. The question is, what are we teaching them?

Follow these links to get more literary and media advice from Burton.

Part 1: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books

Part 2: ‘We’re sacrificing our kids’

Part 3: How Science Fiction Influences Technology

Bookstores on Tumblr & Paid Amazon Reviews: Top Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are our top stories of the week, including David Foster Wallace on your Mac’s thesaurus, the best bookstores on Tumblr and LeVar Burton talking about Reading Rainbow (video embedded above).

Click here to sign up for GalleyCat’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place.

1. Major Bestsellers with More Than 150 One-Star Reviews

2. Audition For ‘Sex & The Single Girl’ Audiobook

3. Best Bookstores on Tumblr

4. How To Read Amazon Review Graphs

5. Free Sites to Promote Your eBook

6. The Lost History of Fifty Shades of Grey

7. David Foster Wallace on Your Mac Thesaurus

8. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publisher to Sell Chicken Soup

9. C.S. Lewis: ‘Your book bill ought to be your biggest extravagance’

10. LeVar Burton: ‘We’re sacrificing our kids’

LeVar Burton on How Science Fiction Influences Technology

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When the iPad debuted in 2010, Star Trek The Next Generation‘s LeVar Burton wasn’t as surprised by the device as others. After all, characters on his show and the original series were beaming each other up, video chatting and using touch devices way before Apple.

“As a fan of science fiction, I’m not surprised because I recognize that science fiction literature tends to ask us what I believe to be are two of the most powerful words in language in combination: what if,” Burton said in our final Media Beat interview.

“I believe there was some kid who watched those original episodes of Star Trek… That kid grew up, became an engineer, a designer of product, and is responsible for a piece of technology in the flip cell phone that’s more prevalent now than toasters,” he continued. “You look at Bluetooth ear devices, Star Trek. You look at Flip cell phones, Star Trek. Devices, seeing devices for the blind inspired by Geordi‘s visor? Science fiction literature and pop culture really is a main conduit for how we invent our future reality.”

Yeah, Google Glass does look a little like this.

Part 1: LeVar Burton: By not focusing on reading, “We’re sacrificing our kids”
Part 2: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books

LeVar Burton: ‘We’re sacrificing our kids’

If everyone loved Reading Rainbow, why in the world was it taken off the air? Politics, says, host LeVar Burton.

“That’s the story that a lot of folks don’t get. No Child Left Behind is doing exactly that, and so the mandate is to teach kids how to read, the rudiments of reading, and there was no money in the budget to foster a love of reading,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “Look, we have spent so much money on the machinery of war in the last 10, 12 years, we are having to make really ridiculous choices. And we’re sacrificing our kids, literally sacrificing our kids.”

So, Burton and his business partner, Mark Wolfe, bought the rights to the name, launched a new company, RRKidz, and created the Reading Rainbow app featuring over 150 books, video field trips and classic clips from the TV show.

“We have value, a product that is of value for families, that is economic and full of the kind of enriching content that the brand, Reading Rainbow, has always been known for,” said Burton.

Part 1: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books
Part 3: LeVar Burton on How Science Fiction Influences Technology

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