LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow want to expand their literacy campaign beyond the classroom and right onto your console of choice.
The Reading Rainbow kickstarter campaign has already seen incredible success. Within the first 24 hours the campaign managed to smash past its initial 1 million USD funding goal, securing the development of the team’s web application and funding for inclusion of the planned educational software in more than 1500 needy schools around the nation.
Now, LeVar and the rest of the Reading Rainbow team are looking to expand their plans even further. With a month left to go on the Kickstarter campaign, the team has set a massive stretch goal: 5 million USD. No matter what their initial plans are happening, but if the additional funds can be raised the scope of their project will increase. Not only will you be able to access Reading Rainbow in classrooms or on your PC, but, the team hopes, your Xbox, PlayStation, or Android and Apple devices as well.
With the additional funding the Reading Rainbow team hopes to do more than expand to consoles. The team additionally plans to increase the number of schools their new software will be provided to free of charge to 7500 locations. With another month left to go until the kickstarter closes, it is likely that even more stretch goals will be announced as funding continues to rise.
Reward tiers for donations to the Reading Rainbow kickstarter campaign offer an extensive array of bonuses relating not only to LeVar’s career with Reading Rainbow itself but his days as Giordi Laforge on Star Trek as well. While the personal rewards are many, what are more impressive are the high-tier rewards for those who wish to contribute to needy schools, including subscriptions for entire schools to the software once it is completed for the highest backers.
If the campaign proves to be successful the arrival of a Reading Rainbow application on consoles could be a sign of great things to come for the future of the console market. With the growing push for multimedia functions in gaming consoles, the availability of non-game software targeted at younger audiences is another step toward turning home consoles from a toy into an interactive centerpiece for the home. With its focus on literacy Reading Rainbow could serve as a perfect example of what consoles can be used for beyond simple entertainment.
For now, plans for console versions of the software are nebulous at best, with no specifics available on which specific consoles will be targeted, pricing, or much else. With so much time to go before the end of Reading Rainbow’s funding campaign, though, the software is looking very likely.