LeVar Burton and the Reading Rainbow Team has announced through the Kickstarter campaign that the new plan is that they want to bring the Reading Rainbow app to not only computers and schools, but to mobile devices and video game consoles as well. Once the million dollar goal had been reached on Kickstarter, the project has been updated with a higher goal and new plans for the money raised.
The first goal was to gather $1 million to bring the Reading Rainbow to the web and inside 1,500 classrooms for free. That goal was met within the first day. Within the first 48 hours, the campaign had reached $2.5 million. That is when the Kickstarter profile was updated again.
The Reading Rainbow Team has expanded the goal to $5 million. When that goal is reached the plan is to release the app on more devices. The team stresses the importance of getting onto Android devices. Their app is already available on iOS and Kindle Fire devices, but the need to get to Android devices will strengthen its popularity amongst children. Many parents buy iOS, Kindle Fire, and Android devices as learning tools for their children, and the Reading Rainbow app will add to their educational choices.
Another type of device that LeVar Burton and the team want to put the Reading Rainbow app on is video game consoles. The latest update on Kickstarter stated that the need to get the app on as many popular devices as possible also means getting the app on consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. That may not seem as far-fetched as one may think. Getting gamers to accept an educational app would be easily achieved as consoles have already had such apps. The Xbox 360 has had apps with content from educational providers such as National Geographic, Sesame Street, and Animal Planet.
Another plan once the $5 million goal is reached is to bring the Reading Rainbow app to Over-The-Top boxes such as AppleTV, Roku, and Kindle Fire TV. This will bring the show and its content back onto televisions where many believe it should be. Having the Reading Rainbow stream through an OTT box will bring hours and hours worth of educational content.
The app is a paid subscription that includes hundreds of digital books that children can read or have read to them. Full-color books are added on a regular basis. Video field trips hosted by LeVar Burton are also inside the app. The video field trips are pre-recorded tours of educational locations which can include places such as zoos and factories. The app keeps the same content as the original Reading Rainbow television show, but the app allows for children to choose which books or videos to watch.
The last plan stated that, should the campaign reach its $5 million goal, the plan is to reach 7,500 schools for free. The fact that LeVar Burton and his team want to expand the Reading Rainbow app to land on video game consoles is a way to gain as much exposure to the educational tool as possible. The new goal and plan is sure to reach into the pockets of many parents as the project has already gained more than $3 million in donations. The project still has over a month remaining to reach that $5 million goal.
By Raul Hernandez