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Posts Tagged ‘children’s literacy’

Why LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ App Is Not Free

After Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2009, the show’s host, LeVar Burton knew he had to do something to save the brand. So, he 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.

And Burton says that, at $9.99 for a month or $29.99 for six months, their app is a real steal.

“Now, when you look at that, that breaks down to $5 a month. You can spend more than $5 on a single children’s app. We were looking for a solution for families that made economic sense. It’s the wild west, you know? We are all making it up as we go along,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “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.”

Part 1: LeVar Burton: ‘Cutting down trees to make books is not sustainable’
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.

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LeVar Burton: ‘Cutting down trees to make books is not sustainable’

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Who didn’t love Reading Rainbow as a kid?  The iconic 80s show used songs, celebrities and video to actually make literature fun. Well, times they do change. And the show’s onetime host, LeVar Burton, says that Reading Rainbow just wouldn’t work on TV today and, furthermore, the days of printed books are also numbered.

“I don’t know what the time frame is, but I do know that at some point, cutting down trees to make books is not sustainable. It’s just one of those things we’re gonna have to get over ourselves about, right? Like oil consumption, it’s just not sustainable,” he explained in our latest Media Beat interview. ”So, we’re looking at a future, whenever it comes, that we’re gonna consume most of the reading that we do on some kind of electronic device or another. We will still have printed books; they’ll never go away. I think our emotional attachment to them is too strong. What it will do, I believe, though is make the books that we own more valuable to us, more precious.”

(And watch the full interview for a freakin’ awesome homage to that beloved RR theme song.)

Part 2: Tuesday, Burton introduces us to the new Reading Rainbow app.
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.