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Reading Rainbow Resurrected?!

The Emmy winning PBS series Reading Rainbow had been entertaining and educating children for 26 years when it lost it’s funding in 2009 and went off the air. LeVar Burton, the program’s host and executive producer, believes that the show’s core message of teaching kids the joy of reading is still vital, and hopes to revive the series using digital media. “There is a brand new generation of kids who could definitely use the kind of spark and inspiration Reading Rainbow provided where actually becoming a reader is concerned,” said Burton in an interview with Mashable. “As far as I can tell, reading will never go out of style, and neither will good old fashioned storytelling.”

Last fall, Burton debuted the website RRKidz, where fans can purchase Reading Rainbow DVDs. As stated on the website’s home page there are also plans to expand the RRKidz multimedia company by creating an immersive reading app for tablets. “The center-point of the App is books,” explained Burton. “Wonderful, lightly enhanced digital books for children. However we’re also very interested in delivering an enriching experience to kids, much like classic Reading Rainbow did on TV.”

Burton scored another win on the Reading Rainbow front last week, when he called upon his 1.74 million Twitter followers to help him gain ownership of the inactive Twitter handle @readingrainbow. Just hours after the Reading Rainbow army had been mobilized, control of the handle was given over to Burton, who will use it to share news of the upcoming app.

“Every day of my life someone comes up to me and tells me about the impact the show had on them growing up,” he concludes. “It’s no secret that our educational system is no longer the platinum standard on the world stage that it once was. This is simply my way of continuing to do what I’ve always done, just in a different medium.”

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