Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reading Rainbow

I love seeing all the projects online that encourage learning, conversation, and helping one another. A few weeks ago, a Kickstarter launched that I believe will top all things awesome and that Kickstarter is...Reading Rainbow! You remember that show, right? It's the one with LeVar Burton as the host. It has a theme song that will remain stuck in your head for weeks. It was shown to you probably in elementary school and if you were like me, you loved the concept but may have gotten bored once or twice. Yep, Reading Rainbow is back and prepared to take on the modern age of technology.
Reading Rainbow was big in the 90s. This was a time when children weren't really reading yet were taught that reading is fun. But how could they read when Disney was dishing out hit after hit and the golden age of TV cartoons was booming? How could they read when Nintendo had awesome games like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country? This was a time when PBS was cool and Reading Rainbow was the most popular show. Visual media was so good that kids didn't need to read. Then Harry Potter came out and a new found passion for reading blossomed.
As modern technology has become more and more of a lifestyle, reading has changed. A lot of people are reading from screens instead of thinly sliced bark from trees. Kids aren't in a golden age of TV or videogames. They are in an age where everything is accessible just by the click of a button. Kids are watered down to silence and stillness in our media obsessed culture and then accused of having A.D.H.D. when they can't sit still in the classroom. Teachers, parents, psychologists, and more have tried to fix this issue. But Reading Rainbow is meeting with the issue, right in the middle.
The goal according to their Kickstarter is to bring reading to every school in America! That is something cheer about! Finally, no politicians making empty promises. Finally, no special school is pretending to be something they are not. Reading Rainbow's first achievement was simply using Kickstarter! They have come humbly to regular people. Their project isn't funded by major advertising or big billionaires who want publicity. The project is funded by us, real people who are passionate about bringing reading back to the fore front and helping out schools.
Reading Rainbow plans on using modern techniques to reach kids. They are releasing new episodes on DVD, making apps for phones and tablets, and even making a computer program for teachers to use. How amazingly awesome is that?! Technology is no evil. It is how we use the technology that can be dangerous. Reading Rainbow is spinning negative into a positive. Parents will want their kids to use the Reading Rainbow app! And hopefully the app will work on another level to make kids actually shut the app off and read, preferably from a physical book but to each is own I guess. And what is super great is that with all of the money they have earned, they can provide their program to schools for free. Do you know how incredible that is? That meas that wealthy schools get Reading Rainbow, average schools get Reading Rainbow, and poor schools get Reading Rainbow. The fact that this is equal opportunity shows that Reading Rainbow has embraced education better than most politicians and educators!
The awesome thing about this entire Kickstarter is that nothing about Reading Rainbow is manipulative. It is authentic and real. They aren't manipulating us for their gain but for the gain of kids. If that isn't something to cheer about then I don't know what is. Click here to give them some money and become a backer. Only one week left!

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