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.
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.