Backed With Extra Millions Through Crowdfunding, Reading Rainbow Launches Online as Skybrary

LeVar Burton and other talented actors read the books in Skybrary to kids. (Photo: Skybrary)
LeVar Burton and other talented actors read the books in Skybrary to kids.
(Photo: Skybrary)

Last summer, Reading Rainbow, the beloved TV series-now-app, shocked the financial community when it raised over 6.4 million in a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter in just 35 days. It shattered previous Kickstarter records when over 105,000 people contributed to the campaign.

LeVar Burton, the 12-time Emmy Award-winning actor and host of Reading Rainbow, is on a mission “to encourage the love of reading and learning in every child, everywhere.” In 2012, Burton and his RRKidz Co-Founder and CEO Mark Wolfe brought reading to kids on mobile when they launched the Reading Rainbow app on the iPad.

After seeing over 16 million books read and field trip videos watched on the Reading Rainbow app, Burton and Wolf wanted to broaden their reach even farther, so they turned to Kickstarter. When they reached their one million dollar goal in just 11 hours, Burton tells me that he was stunned. “I knew that generations of children had grown up watching the show. However, I had no idea that those very same kids, who are now adults, would be so passionate and dedicated to bringing Reading Rainbow back for the next generation.” When they continued on to 6.4 million, expansion possibilities became realities.

Skybrary by Reading Rainbow is the first expansion product to come out of the Kickstarter campaign. It duplicates the Reading Rainbow app experience of creating a digital library, but places the reading on the web. Skybrary offers kids a library of over 500 books and 150 videos, appropriate for kids age 3-9. Here’s how it works.

Parents set up an account on www.readingrainbow.com/skybrary. The site offers a free 14-day trial. A subscription costs $9.99 per month, $29.99 for six months or $49.99 for a year’s subscription. Families can set up profiles for five kids, and this account gives them access to Reading Rainbow on all services (web, iPad, Kindle Fire and, coming in a few weeks, Android).

Click here to continue reading.

SOURCE: USA Today – Jinny Gudmundsen

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