reading rainbow

If you've been on the Internet for the last month, you've probably heard of LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign, which appealed directly to parents to bring the beloved reading-focused kid's program to the web. The campaign has just under six hours left, and at $5.1 million pledged, Burton & co. now have the resources available to meet their goal of bringing the upcoming experience to Android, as well as game consoles and set-top boxes.


Since Android is, in fact, the world's most-used mobile operating system, it seems a little odd that it wasn't included in the campaign's original $1 million goal to "bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere." (The show was relaunched as a combination video/interactive book app for the iPad in 2012, long before this recent push, with no mention of an Android app at the time.) Still, I'm sure parents and teachers will be happy to hear about the expanded availability. The Reading Rainbow tablet app is not free, and the web access and other upcoming apps won't be either. But as part of the Kickstarter campaign 7,500 disadvantaged classrooms will get free access to the program, with another 500 added for each additional $100,000 raised past $5 million.

dodo ouya

Ever since the launch of the campaign, donators big and small have been lining up. Last week Family Guy perpetrator Seth MacFarlane pledged to match an additional $1 million in donations, and four other big-time Kickstarter campaigns including the OUYA Android console and the Pebble smartwatch have thrown in special backer rewards. In addition to a truly dizzying array of backer levels, the $100 reward now includes a Reading Rainbow DODOcase with a Nexus 7 option, the $140 level includes a Pebble watch with Burton's laser-etched signature on the back and an 8-bit version of the show host, and the $250 level includes a special edition OUYA console with Burton's (real) signature.

The campaign ends at 3:00 Eastern US time today - get your pledge in now if you want your goodies.

Kickstarter - Bring Reading Rainbow Back For Every Child, Everywhere

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Jeffrey Tuttle

    we can never do enough for the children,congrats mr. burton

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  • gladgura

    Not sure of kickstarters policies but it would be nice to see this Kickstarter to last for 30 more days. Imagine what more can be done.

    • Godspoken

      You can make them last for at least 45.

      • gladgura

        30 days + 15 more days?

        • Godspoken

          I've never actually made a Kickstarter, so I don't really know how it works, but I've seen Kickstarters that had 45 days left. With a quick Google search, Kickstarter's max is 90 days, but the success rate at that amount is half that at 30. Regardless, the GREAT majority of pledges come at the very beginning and end of any campaign.

    • ins0mn1a

      if the campaign were extended, this wouldn't have been the last day, and you wouldn't have seen the growth rate of $20k/hour.

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  • illet

    I'm always going to see someone drop the line "android is used more", but are the apps other than stock being used more than iOS apps? I know some people with android that use it strictly as a phone while everyone with iOS that I know of uses the apps constantly.

    • Dan


    • Jacob Long

      iOS is definitely the operating system that is the "I just want a phone that does the basics" choice. This is basically their marketing message. It's the OS of old people and that's okay.

      • Maxim∑

        "It's the OS of old people and that's okay."
        not really, but if it makes you feel better continue

  • remister

    As the saying goes, "Of course, you don't have to take MY word for it"

  • mgamerz

    The pebble is 1 bit. Not 8 bit.

  • andy_o

    Family Guy perpetrator

    How dare you, sir!

  • Bodah

    Im not sure why they can't have an Android app now, they have a Kindle fire app.

    • Doakie

      No kidding huh?