LeVar Burton, 'Reading Rainbow' find pot of gold online

The man who was Geordi La Forge is committed as ever to teaching kids to read, and now he's Kickstarting funds to take "Reading Rainbow" global.

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"Reading Rainbow" is raising millions from crowdfunders. Video screenshot by Eric Mack / CNET

Less than 24 hours prior to this writing, on Wednesday morning, the world's top geek in charge of early childhood literacy for much of the past three decades took to Kickstarter to ask for a million dollars. The crowdfunding pitch was to use the funds to bring the popular "Reading Rainbow" PBS series (which also launched an official tablet app in recent years) to the Web and into classrooms around the world.

Turns out the world still loves LeVar Burton and "Reading Rainbow," because the campaign has already raised $1.7 million, including almost $20,000 since I started writing this post -- and it still has 34 days to go.

Burton, well-known for his role as Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," posted the teary-eyed video below from the set of the TNT show "Perception" after the crowdfunding campaign met its goal on Wednesday night.

An updated version of the Kickstarter campaign acknowledges the milestone and plans to add new bonus incentives:

"The first million raised will help us get onto the web and into 1,500+ classrooms...but now that we're there (!), we've got some big ideas for stretch goals. We'll be sharing our new goals in the next 1-2 days."

The Kickstarter campaign already offers a dizzying array of rewards for backers, from incentives meant for classrooms, "Reading Rainbow" fans, and even the opportunity to have your photo taken wearing Geordi La Forge's original visor after having a private dinner with LeVar.

Holy cow, 12-year-old me is freaking out right now (OK, OK, so is 34-year-old me) -- is it possible to do a Kickstarter in order to raise money to back another Kickstarter?

 

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