Actor and former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton has raised $3 million for his RRKidz reading app for iPad and Android users, reports Venture Beat. He’s partnering with PBS affiliate WNED in Buffalo, which was Reading Rainbow’s presenting station, on the project. (The show ended its 26-year run in August 2009.) “With RRKidz, Burton is introducing a reading, discovery and exploration platform (enhanced eBooks) that could have more than 300 interactive books by the time it launches,” according to Venture Beat.
“We are slipping on the world’s stage in education, very precipitously,” Burton said. “To remain a world leader, we have to do a better job educating our children. Our approach is a partnership of public and private efforts. I’ve never stopped thinking about how to prepare our children to occupy their place in the world. Reading Rainbow was a powerful reading experience for me.”
“The original Reading Rainbow television series was a huge success,” said WNED President Donald K. Boswell in a statement, “and this new initiative will continue to educate our youth through today’s cutting edge technology.”
A spokesperson for the station said terms of the licensing arrangement are confidential, and the status of any return of Reading Rainbow is yet to be determined.