MacFarlane, creator of Ted and Family Guy, recently announced his pledge to match donations dollar for dollar—up to $1M—to Reading Rainbow’s kickstarter campaign by the deadline of July 2. Reading Rainbow, the award winning PBS show that encouraged all of us as kids to “take a look in a book,” is under one million away from its $5M goal. When the campaign reached $4M, MacFarlane stepped up big time to ensure they get there.
LeVar Burton (known for ROOTS and Star Trek: TNG) hosted the show on PBS from 1983 to 2009. In 2011, he and business partner Mark Wolfe bought the license for Reading Rainbow and turned it into an immensely popular educational app for tablets. Hundreds of books and educational field trip videos once again became available to children ages 3-9.
Understanding that many children don’t have tablets, Burton set up the kickstarter to expand Reading Rainbow into a web series for classrooms and to make the app available across other digital platforms like phones, kindles, and game consoles. The $5M goes toward providing at least 7500 classrooms in need with free subscriptions to the full Reading Rainbow digital subscription.
The kickstarter website mentions some harrowing statistics that demonstrate how important Reading Rainbow is for our upcoming generation: 25% of kids in the USA will be illiterate and those who can’t read at grade level when they are young are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
As of writing this, the campaign is at $4.3 million and has just four days left to get to $5 million. Over 88,000 people have donated so far. Donations as small as $1.00 are accepted, though anything higher than $5.00 earns the pledgee some perks. There are bumper stickers, books, t-shirts, memorabilia, personalized voicemails, and more are up for grabs depending on how much is donated.
Click here to donate and make Reading Rainbow available to every child so it can instill a love for reading and learning that is so critical for the future.