To everyone who felt ill last year when Rob Thomas’ feature version of Veronica Mars raised over a million dollars in a single day, there is still hope for humanity. Yesterday was the launch of the $1 million Kickstarter campaign to bring the classic PBS series Reading Rainbow back to children, and it has already raised almost $1.9 million at the time of this writing! Star Trek: The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton watched the donations pour in with Reading Rainbow CEO and writer/director Mark Wolfe, and the former host delivered an emotional thanks to everyone who donated, as seen above.
Wolfe posted the video as part of the campaign’s first update, along with his own personal gratitude-filled message. (We couldn’t tell if he teared up or not while writing it.) He says the video was taken on the set of TNT’s crime drama Perception, where they were flabbergasted to see the goal get surpassed less than 24 hours after it was announced. Can you imagine how much it could raise by the time its 35 day window is closed on Wednesday, July 2? They might be able to put Reading Rainbow on the moon by that point.
This news is ridiculously encouraging, as education normally takes a backseat to straightforward entertainment these days where crowdfunding is concerned. Luckily, Reading Rainbow is the best of both worlds. First airing in 1983, the series featured celebrity book readings and children’s book reviews, among other things, and played a huge part in many a child’s developmental years. Thankfully more in the reading department and less in the fashion world.
The funds raised will go towards building upon Reading Rainbow's already amazing mobile and tablet app, which features thousands of books and video field trips for children to learn from. One of the main goals is granting scholastic materials to schools across the country free of charge, as Wolfe and his team realize schools are a more reliable place than electronic devices in making a difference for impoverished children. (Don't be surprised if those Stretch Goals bring even more amazingness to fans.) Plain and simple, this is the kind of thing that Kickstarter should be known for. Check out the full promo video below, in which everyone is in awe of LeVar Burton, just like Troy was on Community, with less vocalizing.
Place your bets for how much money will be in Reading Rainbow's final pot of gold.