Reading Rainbow: The most popular Kickstarter ever

LeVar Burton brought Reading Rainbow to children at the L.A. Times Festival of Books in April 2014.
(Bret Hartman / For The Times)

With more than 104,000 backers, Reading Rainbow is the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever. More people have donated to it than to the “Veronica Mars” movie and the Pebble Smartwatch, two record-breaking projects.

Actor Levar Burton’s project to expand Reading Rainbow and provide it free to schools in need has raised more than $5 million. The Kickstarter campaign ends around 11 a.m. July 2.

Burton was the star and executive producer of the public television series “Reading Rainbow,” which ran from 1983 to 2006. The show sought to ignite a love of reading using the tools of television -- music, animation, taking the camera to exciting places. It won more than 200 awards, including 26 Emmys.


In 2012, Burton launched a Reading Rainbow iPad app that combined the tablet’s interactivity with new material and archival footage. The new project will create a Web-based and classroom-focused version of Reading Rainbow, aimed particularly at students who don’t have access to pricey tablets.

The final week of the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has brought a $1-million challenge grant from Seth Macfarlane and a series of new rewards for donors.

Since Friday, more than 18,000 new donors have given to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter.

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