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Reading Rainbow App and Kickstarter Project – Bringing Literacy to Children, Everywhere

Literacy is the key to unlocking the cycle of poverty

The facts are clear – illiteracy correlates to far higher unemployment.

Illiteracy locks communities into vicious cycles of poverty that lay the conditions for violence and strife.

What is Reading Rainbow?

Reading Rainbow is a children’s TV series designed to encourage children to read. Each episode is centered on a theme from a book that is explored through segments or stories. Books were also recommended during the show so children could look for them when they went to the library. The following series of videos gives a preview of the program:

The Reading Rainbow series was so successful that it won the Peabody Award and 26 Emmy Awards, 11 of which were in the “Outstanding Children’s Series” category. Even though the series is no longer showing, Reading Rainbow is now available as an app for iPad…

Reading Rainbow App

The Reading Rainbow app contains books and video field trips with LeVar Burton (the Trekkers out there will remember him as Geordi Laforge in Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Watch it in action here:

App Features:

  • hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books for children ages 3-9
  • educational video field trips hosted by LeVar Burton
  • new books and videos added every week plus recommended books based on your child’s age and interests
  • two modes of reading (Read To Me & Read By Myself) with interactive activities in every book
  • offer rewards to motivate reading
  • a Parent Dashboard helps to track a child’s reading progress – books read and time spent reading

5 Themed Islands categorise books from acclaimed authors and illustrators:

  1. Animal Kingdom
  2. Genius Academy
  3. Music Mountain
  4. Awesome People
  5. National Geographic Kids

The app is free to download and up to 5 books can be selected to try for free. A sample of educational video field trips are also available to watch for free. Subscription provides unlimited access to the entire library for up to 5 children – Monthly @$9.99; 6-monthly @$29.99.

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Program

Host of the Reading Rainbow Program, LeVar Burton, is trying to bring Reading Rainbow to every child with his Reading Rainbow Kickstarter program. The goal is to achieve three things:

  1. Put reading rainbow on the web
  2. Build a specialised classroom version of reading rainbow
  3. Offer reading rainbow free to the schools that are most in need

Watch the video to find out more:

Although the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Project has reached its target of $1million – which means it will be going ahead – they are now targeting a stretch goal of $5million so they can make Reading Rainbow available on mobiles, androids, consoles and OTT boxes; and make it accessible for free for 7500 classrooms, instead of the original goal of 1500 classrooms.

Please help by supporting the project.

Trekkers can also sign up for the Star Trek rewards even if you’re not interested in the Reading Rainbow goodies.


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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