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Take a look: LeVar Burton takes us behind the scenes at Reading RainbowAfter a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $5.4 million, Reading Rainbow starts a new chapter with the Web-based version of the popular kids' TV series. "Star Trek" actor and Reading Rainbow co-founder LeVar Burton takes us inside to show us...
[MUSIC] I'm Lavar Burton, I am a co-founder and the curator in chief of RR Kids, the home of Reading Rainbow. [MUSIC] I had huge fear about. The crowd funding move. [MUSIC] 37. Yeah. Woo. I was just not Sure it was the right thing to do. However at the time it seemed like the only thing to do. We made the first million in 11 hours. I don't know what to say. We've just crossed the million dollar threshold and it is our first day. I, am overwhelmed. Our brand of story telling. Our way of reaching out to kids. Our way of showing them that the world is a place of infinite experience and that you can literally go anywhere in the world in your imagination. Go anywhere, be anything. That's a valuable message. We've proven it for over 30. Years. [MUSIC] One of the best inventions ever. Was the book. We had done television. The brand had been incredibly successful on TV and yet there was this new world developing of digital entertainment. And we knew that there was an opportunity to do something different. Oh hi. I'm Austin. Your book buddy here at Reading Rainbow. It looks Hi, I'm Le Var Burton and I'm here to introduce you to our new reading rainbow app. One of the things I'm most proud of with the reincarnation if you will of reading rainbow is that we have kids coming to the app reading 194,000 books a week. That's huge. I'm incredibly excited about getting our service onto the Web. A very small slice of the American population has access to a tablet computer. We're releasing Reading Rainbow on the Web, all you need is a computer to access the reading rainbow service, our library of books and our library of videos I'm very excited. [MUSIC] Matt, could you test drive? Sure. So, when you launch the app, you are in the cockpit of your own hot air balloon. And then there are islands in the sky. And this is where you find the books. and videos. Here are all the books in this category and then all of the video field trips there. We work very closely with our publishing partners, publishers both large and small. We share your book, we will treat them and respect them in a way that you would expect And what that means to us is that the original art that the illustrators have provided in these wonderful books and the decisions that were made by the author, the illustrator, and the editors and publishers, we respect that and we're not looking to change that. Yeah, give us another example Matt. And get the pdf's, the layered pdf's, and we break them down and we create the animations. [MUSIC] Those animals in turn, are eaten by other animals. We do the sound effects and the voice over narration at a place called Skyboat Media. Not far from here. Earth. Air, sun and microbes all live together to balance each other out. And I believe that we produce certainly, in terms of our videos and these books, this is some of the best content for kids in the English language. And now we're actually looking at and contemplating moving to Latin America. We've got our eye on China. We were really serious about every child, everywhere. I come from a people for whom reading was punishable by whipping or death. Just three generations ago. And I am able to travel every week with any book I choose, at my disposal. I live in a world where that is possible, and that is a miracle as far as I'm concerned. To be able to have that luxury, and I really do consider it a luxury. And I guess why this work is so important to me is because I don't want it to need to be a luxury. I believe that if you can read in at least one language, then you are my definition of free. I want to make sure that there is a choice out there for children and for their parents that is good for kids, and that's why I do What I do. [SOUND]