'Reading Rainbow' earns over $5 million in Kickstarter donations

The popular 1990s children’s show “Reading Rainbow” is making a comeback into classrooms and homes through the support of the general public by donations through a kickstarter.

Jennifer Caldwell, a senior and health promotions major at Weber State University hasn’t seen the show since she was young, but she remembers one part of it very well. “What I remember most about it was the theme song. I love that (“Reading Rainbow”) was educational. So much of what is on TV lately is just junk,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell’s nine-year-old son, Gavin, recently watched “Reading Rainbow” for the first time. After watching part of an episode, Gavin asked his mother to download the app while he sang the theme song.

“It makes kids think,” said Gavin. He said “Reading Rainbow” also encouraged him to use his ideas to create things.

LeVar Burton, who is famous for hosting “Reading Rainbow” as well as playing Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” helped launch the campaign to raise $1 million to help get “Reading Rainbow” back into classrooms for free.

“Reading Rainbow” has morphed into more than a TV show. It is now accessible on a tablet app, which children can use to read books or go on video field trips.

It took only 11 hours for “Reading Rainbow” to meet their donation needs on Kickstarter. It didn’t take long after that to exceed their needs and end their Kickstarter with 105,857 backers and over $5,400,000 in donations.

Weber State student and mother Katie Pullum, shared her enthusiasm for “Reading Rainbow” to return to classrooms. She is especially excited for her son, Caleb, to experience “Reading Rainbow.”

“I’m very excited for Caleb to be able to grow up learning to read and learning to love reading,” said Pullum.

Those who backed the Kickstarter received various gifts for their support. Those who donated a large amount could receive a personalized voicemail message recorded by Burton as well as a personalized thank you tweet from Burton.

A backer who donated $10,000 will receive a dinner with Burton and Brent Spiner, who played Data in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Not only will that backer receive dinner with the two actors, but they will also be able to wear the original visor that Burton wore on the show.

“Reading Rainbow” is hoping to launch its app on Android, Apple, Xbox, Playstation and various other devices, making it more accessible for children around the country inside and outside of the classroom.

“I love anything that isn’t mindless entertainment like Spongebob, especially in the summer when kids get out of the mode of learning,” said Caldwell.

Seth MacFarlane who is the creator of shows such as “Family Guy” recently donated $1 million to the cause, raising the donation total to $6 million.

Every $100,000 raised allows “Reading Rainbow” to go into 500 more classrooms without cost to the school.  If you would like to make a donation, visit readingrainbow.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders