The Return of Reading Rainbow
Who remembers Reading Rainbow? Now, thanks to LeVar Burton’s never-ending quest to get children to read, more kids of the current generation will be able to answer ‘I do!’ That’s right; the TV show that aimed to get children reading is making a comeback, but a smart one. Rather than producing another TV show, Burton, who both hosted and helped produce Reading Rainbow, and his for-profit venture, RRKidz, will be releasing an iPad app. As Burton explained to Fast Company, he aims to “get kids hooked on books,” and says RRKidz is “going to where kids are today; those devices that they love to spend time on.” App developers also have discovered that the iPad is an ideal device to get kids excited about reading. The app will feature 300 books at its launch and enable children to explore topics of interest. It will include voiceovers of select children’s books, light animation, videos of Burton visiting real places (like NASA for those interested in space) in his usual role of investigator and games. In an effort to create enthusiastic learners and encourage children to continue looking into different topics of interest, the app will launch as a monthly subscription model, allowing kids to explore unlimited titles as their interests expand. Burton, who will be taking an incredibly hands-on approach to this endeavor as the company’s “Curator in Chief,” will use his 25-plus years of experience to once again get kids excited about reading (because let’s be real, we all loved when it was time for Reading Rainbow).