Reading Rainbow aired the year I was born and ran until 2006 (the year I graduated from college). I cannot comprehend a childhood where I don’t get excited about the seeing the newest Reading Rainbow books and learning what Levar Burton is going to teach me and talking about it with my friends in school.
Watching Reading Rainbow I learned (as much a precocious and very messy child can) how to paint eggs, how to make Japanese pots, how to do Chinese calligraphy, how to make paper from blue jeans, what recycling was, the beauty of multi-culturalism. Levar Burton took us on field trips to see the cast of CATS, to see New York City workers at night, to the Maryland Ren Faire (which is why I joined the SCA in college – I got to use a spinning wheel just like on Reading Rainbow!), and I learned what a book review was.
And of course on Reading Rainbow I learned that Star Trek: The Next Generation was cool. Sure my big brother watched the show, but this was a behind the scenes tour (there’s a behind the scenes of tv and movies!) and Reading Rainbow showed me how they make special effects!
New and Classic Reading Rainbow has been available on their YouTube Channel and as an app for tablets. But they decided a paid service wasn’t good enough, because not all kids had access to it. The Kickstarter to make Reading Rainbow available to kids free in classrooms has swept the Internet. Because the root of all things Nerdy is a love of learning and passion for a good book. It doesn’t matter if that book is The Hobbit, Dune, Harry Potter, I, Robot, or The Adventures of the Muddle-Headed Wombat. What matters is there’s some book, somewhere that makes you want more.
And on the off chance you haven’t been singing the theme song this whole time.
And if you thought that Levar couldn’t get much cooler… watch his tearful reaction as the Kickstarter makes its goal in only one day!
Jody “Goldberry Riverdaughter” Boyce
“Goldberry Riverdaughter” has been her friends’ and families’ resident book nerd since reading the Tao of Pooh at age eight. Since then her literary exploration has lead her straight to Lord of the Rings where she’s made her home. In addition to a staff reporter for Legendarium, she also runs Hells Hobbits. She has a degree in History, as well as a new-found penchant for disassembling literary canon. She lives with her equally nerdy husband and two gigantic cats enjoying table top games & cosplay.