LeVar Burton’s Reaction as Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Surpasses Goal of $1 Million in Less Than a Half a Day

Just 11 hours after its launch, LeVar Burton’s new Kickstarter campaign to bring back the hit children’s show Reading Rainbow (1983-2006) surpassed its goal of $1 Million. And, this was before LeVar had a chance to advertise the cause during today’s Reddit AMA. At the time of writing, the campaign is only a day old and reached nearly $2 Million in donations. The crowdfunded campaign is raising money to “bring Reading Rainbow’s unlimited library of interactive books and video field trips to kids everywhere” and to help classrooms in need. Perhaps LeVar underestimated the impact that the show had on the Millennial generation during their childhood. See his reaction when the campaign officially went over their goal.

Immediately after the Kickstarter campaign surpassed its $1 Million goal, the team posted this video of LeVar Burton’s reaction to the outpouring of support.

Help Bring Back Reading Rainbow
Right now, 1 out of every 4 children in America will grow up illiterate. LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow believe that every child has a right to learn to read. You can help bring the hit 90’s show Reading Rainbow to kids today and teach them that by picking up a book, they can go anywhere or be anything. Donations start at $5 and can go as high as $10,000+. Backer rewards include everything from a special thanks ($5), digital downloads of a special Reading Rainbow Collector’s Episode and subscription to the Reading Rainbow App ($25+), a personalized voicemail greeting from LeVar ($400+), to a private dinner in LA with LeVar WHILE WEARING GEORDI LA FORGE’S ACTUAL VISOR ($10,000+).



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Grats Geordi

Good for him, RR always seemed to be his passion project. We need a literate world to travel to space someday.

Job well done LeVar and fans of RR and Trek everywhere..

brent spiner at the end of the kickstarter video :)

very impressive was just looking at it today and it’s already over 2 Mill mark now just amazing

Now that is good Trek news.

Mr Burton is a credit to his profession and an awesome Trek and Reading Rainbow ambassador! I love what he stands for.

Good for him, and “Reading Rainbow”.

Refreshing to hear about this instead of folks like Michael Dorn panhandling on the internet just so he could get his vanity projects off the ground.

RR is an educational program aimed at encouraging kids to read.

Too many examples of washed-up bum actors mooching off of fans’ nostalgia just so they can relive the “good ole days”.

Well, I Tweeted this article, so now the REAL quatloos will pour in.

Seriously, Congratulations to all involved! What better project could there be?

When my daughters were younger, nearly everything school related from syllabus’s, homework assignments & school schedules were released over the internet. The fact that RR is going to be available over the net in general and subsidizing the classroom RR version to the neediest of schools is a wonderful thing.

Plus, while I knew the RR app had been released for tablets (think – iPad) since 2012, I didn’t know it was also released as a Kindle app as well. Considering that I bought my Kindle Fire on Craigslist for $80 bucks (used) that makes it pretty reachable to a lot of kids.

I can’t say enough good things about this.

Love it!

Great cause, great product, great spokesman, great promo!

And great cameo by Brent Spiner at the end!

And here’s a great parody of it by Jimmy Fallon: http://vimeo.com/42437780


I TOTALLY forgot about that video LOL plus, you’re right. Brent Spiner has a great cameo. He’s always so self-deprecating.

In 1987 I was 10 years old, I sat down to watch the first episode of Star Trek TNG with my parents, as the opening credits rolled I saw Levar’s name and turned to my parents shouting “its the Reading Rainbow guy! He’s in Star Trek!”.

LLAP Levar, glad to see the impact you have had on the world has not faded.

So well deserved, Mr. Burton. Congatulaions to you and everyone who will get to share in your cotinued work!

with a T. Guess I need more Reading Rainbow;)

Congratulations, Mr. Burton! A worthy cause that will sure benefit current & future generations.

Glad to see that there is hope that good things come to those who give of themselves. Wish you all the best in bringing back an institution dedicated to joy in learning.

@Red Dead Ryan: Suck it on the anti-Michael Dorn comment. I would gladly donate to a kickstarter to his “vanity projects” as thanks for years of entertainment. :-P


As for the Reading Rainbow project: congratulations, Mr. Burton! You deserve every accolade that you’ve earned, and I wish you best of you luck on this project of yours. :-)

You know I still remember watching the Reading Rainbow of TNG back in the day as a kid, and how they filmed the enterprise upside down for the intro and all that cool behind the scenes stuff of it.

and I guess this is everyones way of saying thanks for the memories, now do the same for our kids too lol.

and lord knows with the kind of reality tv crap they make nowadays like hells f’ing kitchen o Yelling along with the overproduced news programs that act more like dramas than unbiast news shows

and overindulgence in murder, mayhem and fast cuts and flashes that I swear is probably heavily connected to making kids ADHD nowadays

both kids and adults could use some positive happy programs to tune into to balance all that out, to give us real hope, not the fake kind the politicians swing around just to get votes, for the future.

you know the kind of program Alan Alda used to do around the same time, Scientific frontiers I think it was called.

But anyways Bon Chance, Mon Ami.

Way to go Kunta Kinte!

He didn’t get a chance to advertize. No wonder I didn’t know about this….

I should find Reading Rainbow on YouTube for my kids until this show is back on the air.

WTG! Mr Burton!. You are a Man among Men. Keep up the good work.!

This news made my day!!! Congrats to Mr. Burton!

it’s impossible not to love LeVar Burton. He’s just a genuinely good-hearted and kind man. He made Georgi one of the most relatable and likeable TNG characters, one you’d want to grab a beverage with in Ten Forward.

I’m thrilled to see Reading Rainbow get this awesome response! The original was a big part of my childhood and I want to make the next version a big part of my daughters’ childhood.

Donations raised thus far is at $2.7M. 33 days to go before closing. WOW. If that’s not a sign of how much of an impact Mr. Burton’s celebrity actor/director status is, and how much of an impact Reading Rainbow is, I don’t know what is…

EXCELLENT! Go LeVar & Reading Rainbow! =D

I donated. :)

I am so happy for him and the project. Levar Burton just seems like a human being of stellar character.

Reading Rainbow is a worthy cause, as well. Feels good to see people come together to do something good so successfully.

I’m from Germany, and THIS is what America is all about!
It’s by far your best trait of all. Grassroots teamwork, making things better from the bottom up. We Germans wish we were like that.

Whenever someone shows you guys all the horrible things some of your leaders did, and wants to use that as an excuse to hate you… show them this! ^^

I know you Americans have an aversion to taking pride in things, but this is something where you can absolutely do that. :)

Hey that elementary school is in Moorpark California!

If there’s a show Levar Burton is remembered for, hopefully it’ll be Reading Rainbow even over and above Roots or TNG. Who knows how many children he helped begin a life-long love of books?

Outstanding! :)

After all the years of entertainment I got from Reading Rainbow as a kid it was the least I could do. Maybe if more people thought about helping the next generation instead of themselves, this country / world would be a much better place for it.

I’m starting a GREAT SPACE COASTER Reunion kickstarter… anyone?

19 Kev, [Side Note] I agree with you on the ADHD, and I think the quick flashes may also contribute to autism, but I’m not a scientist.

As for televised mayhem and murder, it has intensified so much in the last 10 years, to the point where we now have programs that would have been R-rated movies a decade ago [“American Horror Story”]. I often wonder why Americans have such an appetite for the diminishment of humanity, for torture, horror and gore. [end Side Note]

Star Trek should come back to TV — to celebrate the good that is in humankind, and the beings they encounter, and to question the violence and sadness that drive people to do bad things. To show how to counter these with science and compassion and learning. LeVar showed us many of these qualities in his portrayal of Geordi La Forge.

There is so much that children can learn from reading, how to imagine new things, and develop critical thinking skills, and also, a way to mentally and emotionally escape when one lives in unfavorable conditions — and can get to the free public library. All children should have access to books.

LeVar Burton and “Reading Rainbow” deserve so much support and so many kudos! BRAVO! Generations of children and former children will thank him.

Just curious, but even though this is obviously a wonderful cause, and everyone essentially has nothing but love and nostalgia for the original iteration of Reading Rainbow (as do I), but has anyone in their right mind questioned why Levar needs kickstarter to raise $1 million bucks? (now of course it’s been updated to $5million)

I’d like to think he made a pretty good buck working on Trek from 7 seasons through the 4 feature films, and other convention appearances…

And I can imagine the utter disdain my post will get, but let me say I don’t discount the importance of a show like this for kids, no doubt about it that it’s vitally important….. That being said, why not just pitch the re-birth of it to a network versus getting people to donate their own money for it?

Honest question. I think people get tunnel vision when the subject matter involves something from their childhood, or a time they felt was “better” than current trends. Either way, hopefully every single penny is truthfully used towards every facet of the new series.


Ryan, as this is a FOR PROFIT venture, it remains to be seen what Mr. Burton’s Business Plan actually purports to be building, apart from what is in the Kickstarter blurb.

Then, there is this in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/05/28/you-might-want-to-reconsider-that-donation-to-the-reading-rainbow-kickstarter/

And that article had its own back-backlash from those who ultimately grew up with, or parented using, Reading Rainbow, and who support Burton’s campaign, which, ultimately, will make someone “a buck” at the end of the day. We’ll just have to wait and see how it supports getting the app to those without regular access to high-speed Internet. I can only imagine whatever he ends up doing will be honest and effective; I can’t see Burton rolling any other way.

Great news! And congratulations Levar Burton! Is for a good cause.

Ryan – Are you suggesting that LB use his own money? Why should he have to? He has money – to be sure – but he’s not ‘Oprah’ wealthy. And since RR is his passion project, I’m sure he did put up a bit of his own money during PBS’s lean years.

Funny – I never heard this kind of argument with the “Veronica Mars” project, but a program that will help thousands of children, and here comes all of these ‘problems’ about what Burton should or should not do. If you don’t like the idea, don’t support it. If Reading Rainbow is not to your liking, don’t let your kids what the program, download the app, or go to the website.

I can’t believe people are trying to get on his case about this.

well done!

Well done indeed Levar.