Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.

 Reading Rainbow is #1 on my top 10 list. What can be more important than teaching children to read and enjoy reading. I remember watching Reading Rainbow,  Mr. Rogers, Thomas and Friends, and many more growing up in the 90's. Those shows kept my brothers and I engaged and learning. These days children are distracted with the likes of Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Candy Crush, etc. I am glad to see someone still thinks about the children and is using new media (apps, social media, youtube, and their websites) to get children excited about reading again, but more importantly, enjoying reading and learning. 

You can follow IamABacker on TwitterFacebook, or RSS to be notified of any updates.

At $5 million, we can give FREE subscriptions to over 7,500 classrooms in need & expand to mobile/Android, but we still need your help!

  • Jun 11, 9:30 AM PST: Read Update #8 (or scroll down!) for BIG NEWS: ten cast members from Star Trek TNG and Voyager will be joining LeVar for Reading Rainbow Live! storytime events -- and you can get tickets, starting at 2 PM PST today!
  • Jun 9, 3:30 PM PST: Read Update #7 (or scroll down!) to see the exclusive designs for the Kickstarter reward t-shirts, and to find out how you can get more than one! Plus: more Twitter follow & voicemail rewards have been added!

Important updates, in case you missed them:

And starting at 2 PM PST TODAY (June 11), tickets will be available for the following special LIVE benefit events:

Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from ROOTS, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation
You also may have grown up with me on Reading Rainbow
It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could "go anywhere" and "be anything." Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me. 
Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors. Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world. 
Now, I am hoping you will join me on my mission: to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.

Together, we can change the lives of millions of children. But you don't have to take my word for it: just keep reading!

I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children… and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility.
And here’s the problem:

And: numerous studies reveal that children who can't read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
And: as of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well educated than the one before.
These problems won't solve themselves.  Real change will require us all to work together. We cannot afford to lose generations of children to illiteracy. And if we work together, we don't have to.

Through Reading Rainbow, we've been working to solve these problems for over three decades. Starting in 1983, Reading Rainbow successfully used television to turn generations of kids into lifelong readers... with great results.

Of course, when Reading Rainbow began in 1983, we were using television to bring books to kids, meeting them where they wanted to be. In 2014, TV is not that place anymore. Now, we’re trying to reach a new generation of digital natives.
That’s why, two years ago, I launched the Reading Rainbow App for tablets. Building on the basics of the television series, we put hundreds of quality books – and educational video field trips – right in a child’s hands.
The response has been encouraging:

But despite this progress, there are big challenges left to face.
First, not all families have access to tablets. Our goal is to cultivate a love of reading inall children, not just those that have tablets. To reach kids everywhere, we need to beeverywhere: we need to be on the web, on mobile devices, on game consoles and on connected televisions. 
Second, a resounding number of teachers have told me that they want Reading Rainbow in their classrooms, where they know it can make a difference. We will provide it, along with the tools that teachers need, including teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards. And with your help, we'll provide it to thousands of disadvantaged classrooms for FREE.

Every Home. Reading Rainbow’s digital collection already contains hundreds of books and video field trips… but with your help, we’ll be able to make the Reading Rainbowlibrary available on more of the devices modern kids use to consume content. Now that we've met our initial goal of $1,000,000, we will be able to launch a new version ofReading Rainbow on the single most-used digital platform: the web. But when we reach our next goal of $5,000,000, we'll also be able to bring the service to mobile phones, Android, game consoles like XBOX and PlayStation, and set-top boxes like AppleTV and ROKU.

Every Classroom. Together, we want to provide Reading Rainbow to as many classrooms as possible FOR FREE! Our initial goal of $1,000,000, means we can putReading Rainbow in over 1,500 classrooms at no cost to the schools -- but when we reach $5,000,000, we'll be able to put it into over 7,500 classrooms!

No matter how much we raise, we promise that every dollar you pledge will bring Reading Rainbow to more platforms, and provide it for free in more classrooms.
We can make sure that millions of kids learn to love reading, but we can’t do it without you. That's why I hope you’ll join me in making a difference!

I believe that spreading the love of reading is its own greatest reward. But if you're going to join our cause, we also have some wonderful prizes. But you don't have to take my word for it... Take a look!

Aside from the signed book, the rewards above will be available to anyone who pledges! But we also have several LIMITED EDITION rewards... so be sure to get them before we run out! (And if we DO run out, keep checking back -- we'll do our best to add more when we can!)

Or, if you prefer, you can also pledge for a reward package that will be gifted to the classroom or school of your choice!

And, if you're just interested in Star Trek related rewards, and don't want all of the Reading Rainbow goodies above, we've also got a few special reward levels created just for you:

This Kickstarter – and Reading Rainbow – couldn't happen alone, so I want you to meet the full team behind our Kickstarter.

Everytime I walk into the office, I am reminded that the Reading Rainbow team is made up of passionate, talented artists, producers, engineers, and so many more. Most of them grew up on the show, have families of their own now, and dedicate their working day to improving the lives of the next generation.  
It's an honor to be surrounded by my Reading Rainbow family every day, and we can't wait for you to join us.
And if you do, you'll be hearing from several of us throughout the campaign, and after that, in our backer updates:

I’ve been the host and producer of Reading Rainbow for 31 years, and have done my best to teach generations of children that in the pages of a book – through reading – you can go anywhere and be anything. This isn’t a job for me: it’s a personal mission!
But if you join me on this mission, we won’t be alone! I’d like to introduce a few important partners who help bring Reading Rainbow to life, and who you’ll meet along the way.

Hello, world! I’m Mark, LeVar’s business partner, a recovering movie producer, and for the last several years, the CEO and writer/director of Reading Rainbow. That means I spend my days switching between financial spreadsheets and video field trip scripts. (When I get the two confused, it makes for interesting bank meetings.) I’ll be the one handling the business side of things: making sure these new product(s) get made, and making sure that we never lose our focus on helping schools in need. I’ll also be making sure that you get your backer rewards!

Hello everyone! I’ve been focused on education and kids’ products for years, and have been fortunate enough to work with many great companies focused on early childhood education. At Reading Rainbow, I oversee our classroom work, and work with teachers, school districts, homeschool parents and educational experts. I’m so excited by the idea that this Kickstarter ­– and all of you – can help us reach so many children and teachers in need. I’ll keep you updated on the educational side, and share details about the design and roll out of our new products!

Hey! As the Reading Rainbow Mom, I enjoy encouraging readers of ALL ages to believe that they can "go anywhere, be anything." I'm a writer and reader, perpetual student, sometime teacher, and mother of two budding young book addicts. If you follow Reading Rainbow on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or any of our other social channels it’s most likely me who is asking or answering your questions, and discussing books & reading with you! I'm passionate about helping bring books and a love of reading to every child, everywhere, and look forward to representing the needs of parents in our Kickstarter campaign!
You can follow IamABacker on TwitterFacebook, or RSS to be notified of any updates.

No comments:

Post a Comment