Reading Rainbow is back

“Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high…”

“Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high…”

For a generation of children, those words were synonymous with books and learning.

And now, thanks to an incredible kickstarter campaign, they can be again.

If you’re unfamiliar, the above words are the opening lyrics to the theme song for Reading Rainbow, an educational children’s program focused on books and literacy.

The show was very popular particularly in the 80s and 90s but aired right up until 2009.

Now the show’s star, LeVar Burton (also widely known for playing Lt.-Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation) is bringing the magic of Reading Rainbow back in a new format for a new crop of young minds.

Last week, Burton launched a kickstarter fundraising campaign to bring Reading Rainbow back for a new generation in an entirely new format.

Or, as Burton mentions in his kickstarter launch video, Reading Rainbow has been reincarnated for today’s kids using today’s technology.

In the video, Burton discusses how he and legions of Reading Rainbow fans feel there is a need for reliable educational programs and tools that are accessible to today’s children.

So, Reading Rainbow launched the Reading Rainbow app, a new tool that delivers the magic of reading through an online library of books and video field trips, much like the television program once did.

But that’s not all.

With the kickstarter campaign, Burton and Reading Rainbow aimed to make this resource readily accessible to devices across all platforms and develop a classroom version of the app and provide free access to it for schools in need.

A fundraising goal of $1 million for the campaign was set to accomplish this feat.

It was reached within 11 hours of posting the video.

In a video response showing an emotional Burton, briefly after reaching the $1 million mark, expresses his gratitude and says that these funds will enable Reading Rainbow to do a lot of good and comments on how this movement has developed a supportive community that can literally change the world one child at a time.

And they aren’t stopping there either.

A new fundraising goal of $5 million has been set that will enable the Reading Rainbow app to reach children on more platforms than just the net and enable free access to the tool for 7,500 classrooms. At time of writing over $3.2 million has been raised.

In Lacombe and Blackfalds, we have a lot of not-for-profit, volunteer and charity organizations that do amazing work. Anyone involved in these organizations will tell you that they receive outstanding support from the community that enables them to do what they do.

Now, we know that this isn’t unique to our locality, region, province, or even country. This is a global thing. How encouraging is it to know that the entire world can pull together as a community to get something like this done?

By the way, if you haven’t watched the kickstarter video yet, it’s a hoot. But don’t take my word for it.