LeVar Burton is working to further cement himself as Troy Barnes’ life hero by bringing back Reading Rainbow—both free on the Internet and to classrooms across America. The iconic show, whose theme song is now stuck in your head, ended its run on PBS in 2006. Two years ago, Burton brought Reading Rainbow to the iPad. Now Burton is looking for donations to get Reading Rainbow online and into classrooms. As the Kickstarter page notes, illiteracy is a worrying problem domestically—so the goal is to bring Reading Rainbow to where kids are, which is the Internet. (The term “digital natives” was used. We shall not speak of this again.)

We, meanwhile, are heartened to learn that LeVar Burton really does sound like the most genuinely idealistic person in the world. For example:

I believe that spreading the love of reading is its own greatest reward. But if you’re going to join our cause, we also have some wonderful prizes. But you don’t have to take my word for it… Take a look!


And this is how he introduces himself:

Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from Roots, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

You also may have grown up with me on Reading Rainbow.

It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could “go anywhere” and “be anything.” Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me.


What’s that? Oh, there’s just a lot of dust in here, don’t you think. ::sobs quietly::

Rewards for donating to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter include:

  • $110: a signed headshot (because as everyone knows, you can’t disappoint a picture).
  • $350: LeVar Burton will follow you on Twitter for a whole year; he’ll even tweet at you at least once.
  • $400: LeVar Burton will record your voicemail message.
  • $750: Two passes to the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.
  • $1,500: Group picnic with LeVar Burton. Just gonna repeat this. Group picnic with LeVar Burton. (Presumably there have been some problems with one-on-one picnics in the past.)
  • $3,000: Private dinner with LeVar Burton. Troy not included.
  • $10,000: And obviously, the money shot: “THE ULTIMATE STAR TREK GEORDI’S VISOR PACKAGE,” where you will get to wear the visor from Star Trek.


More information on the Kickstarter here, at Bring Back Reading Rainbow For Every Child, Everywhere. Also, here is a photo of LeVar Burton. Just because.