Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Closes With $5.4 Million In Donations, Setting A Record For Backers

With a little help from friends and fans, LeVar Burton has managed to bring Reading Rainbow back with a record setting Kickstarter campaign. The fundraiser has reached the end of its term, garnering $5.4 million in donations and 105,857 backers, the most for any Kickstarter campaign. From The Verge:

Having hit its ambitious $5 million stretch goal, Burton’s company will now be bringing Reading Rainbow to Android as well as the Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, and Roku. Originally, Burton had only announced plans to bring Reading Rainbow to the web. Reading Rainbow‘s campaign estimates that the web portion should be ready by next May.

Some of the additional funding is also going toward giving schools free access to Reading Rainbow‘s website and apps. Burton plans to provide free access for a year to at least 7,500 classrooms using the first $5 million, and his company will put the additional $400,000 entirely toward free access for classrooms as well. Altogether, Burton’s campaign is one of the most successful ever to go through Kickstarter. Though it didn’t set a new monetary record — still falling far behind the Pebble smartwatch — it did set a new record for backers, ending with a total over 100,000.

It’ll go down as one of the most successful and memorable Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Not only did it offer a chance to bring back a classic and influential series, it is going to do a lot of good in communities that might not have had the chance to do so. And as Burton noted in the original Kickstarter video, the swag wasn’t so bad either.

One of my favorites is the late addition to a special Live Reading Rainbow online event that would be a special added bonus to the already happy Community fan’s life. From Kickstarter:

If you’re a fan of Community, you might remember that Troy (Donald Glover) was last seen heading for a year on the seas with LeVar as his erstwhile first mate. But as a friend of LeVar’s, Donald still wanted to help, so we’re doing something special:
Donald Glover will join LeVar for a special Reading Rainbow Live ONLINE event, where they’ll read stories to you and children live over the internet, while broadcasting from a boat.

That’s right: from a boat.

It will be a long time until we see a Kickstarter like this again. It certainly takes the entire Zach Braff fiasco and sweeps it under the rug before covering it in awesomeness.

(Via The Verge / Kickstarter)