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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow is Back & Better Than Before

I'm so excited to find on Yahoo!TV that LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow is back and better than before; as if that was even possible! 

For 26 years, children like myself went on educational adventures with him as host of the beloved PBS series "Reading Rainbow." The show ended in 2009 and Burton has been "gliding under the radar" he tells Yahoo! TV, but now he's back in a big way with a re-imagined version of "Reading Rainbow."

Burton absolutely loves "Reading Rainbow." He is the son of an English teacher and has a longstanding commitment to literacy so when the series went off the air he worked furiously behind the scenes to reinvent it, keeping today's tech-savvy kids in mind. 

His labor of love was completed in June when he launched Reading Rainbow, the iPad app, which offers children an enhanced reading experience with animations, videos, and games. Like the show, Burton hosts the virtual "field trip" videos and has been traveling extensively over the last 10 months to film them, recently visiting the White House. 

Unlike the TV series, the kids are in control of the experience and can select their own books from a collection of 150 – many of which Burton narrates. A very modern version of the TV classic; this is WONDERFUL!!!!  Burton previewing the Reading Rainbow iPad app in NYC in June.

"The TV show was all about providing a window into interesting, real-world experience for kids and connecting it to literature. The formula here is the same," he says of the app. "We have what we believe to be a value proposition to the parents – and to the kids. We're going to collect some of the finest children's literature that we can find, we're going to digitize it, and present it to your kids in a way that will engage them – just like these magical devices do. They engage us all. And we're also going to give you the kind of video field trips that you, as a parent, remember when you were a kid watching 'Reading Rainbow,' and there's a whole universe for them to explore and they get to select their own books and take ownership of the experience."

Of the journey it took to get the "Reading Rainbow" app off the ground, he says, "We've been gliding under the radar the last couple of years, but we've really been doing this. It's been silent work. Now that we're releasing product and trying every day to make it a better experience for the customer, we need to be more visible to let people know we're open for business."

The Reading Rainbow app is available at the iTunes store. 

I hope you are as excited as I am!!! I've been singing the Reading Rainbow theme, "I can go anywhere! Take a look. It's in a book. The Reading Rainbow!" since finding this and now my daughter knows it too! 

LeVar Burton, your continued dedication to literacy is what makes you WHO'S HOT!!! I know your old and new fans will continue to enjoy your hard work! I am downloading the app now. Are you?


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