“Reading Rainbow” is back – and it's all thanks to the general public.
A web-only version of the now-defunct PBS series has been effectively Kickstarted by host LeVar Burton, reaching its $1 million goal in less than 12 hours – over a month before Burton's stated deadline of July 2.
Incentives offered include everything from t-shirts and tote bags to a private dinner with Burton himself – not to mention a number of special rewards for “Star Trek” fans including access to a private meet-and-greet with the star and a chance to take a photo or video wearing his original visor from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (price tag: $10,000).
As stated by Burton on the campaign's official Kickstarter page (where the counter now shows total donations of more than $1.29 million), the money raised will go to providing “Reading Rainbow” and related tools including “teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards” for free to hundreds of disadvantaged schools.
“Reading Rainbow” aired from 1983-2009 on PBS. An iPad app for the series was launched in 2012 and quickly became the most-downloaded educational app in the iTunes Store.
You can watch Burton's official fundraising video below.