Reading Rainbow Kickstarter could bring app to consoles, mobile, set-top boxes

LeVar Burton's Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow has already proved phenomenally successful, and the project's organizers are now looking to take the project to gaming consoles, mobile devices and other places.

The educational program originated as Reading Rainbow, a Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning children's television series that was hosted by Burton and aired on PBS from 1983 to 2006. Burton relaunched it as an iPad app in 2011, and launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this week to bring Reading Rainbow to the web and to schools everywhere. The funding drive had a goal of $1 million, which would have allowed the Reading Rainbow organization to provide the software for free to 1,500 schools in need.

Contributors blew past the original goal in 11 hours. As of this writing, less than three full days since the beginning of the campaign, it has pulled in more than $2.85 million from over 64,000 backers. In a Kickstarter update posted this afternoon, Burton announced a stretch goal of $5 million.

"With $5 million, we can get to mobile, we can do Android, we can definitely do Xbox, we can do set-top boxes. And," said Burton in a video for backers, "we can get to at least 7,500 schools for free."

According to the update, the stretch goal would allow for the Reading Rainbow team to put an app on devices such as PlayStation and Xbox consoles; Android smartphones and tablets; and set-top boxes like the Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV. The Reading Rainbow organization has plans for higher stretch goals in case the campaign hits $5 million — there are potential goals such as bringing Reading Rainbow to public libraries and including foreign-language books.

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign still has 32 days to go; it will end at 3 p.m. ET on July 2.

More from Polygon

Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

  • Hearthstone - Military Quarter gameplay video

  • Elite: Dangerous Overview video

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.