LeVar Burton, the host and producer of the children’s program Reading Rainbow, plans to bring the TV series back to life for kids living in today’s digital age.
The Peabody Award-winning show, which encouraged children to read, was broadcast by PBS for 26 years. Reading Rainbow also received 24 Emmy Awards.
But rather than trying to re-launch the TV series, Burton hopes to motivate kids to experience literature through a free app for digital devices like the iPhone.
“The center-point of the app is books,” Burton told Mashable. “Wonderful, lightly enhanced digital books for children. However we’re also very interested in delivering an enriching experience to kids, much like classic Reading Rainbow did on TV.”
Burton launched the company RRKidz and plans to also promote the Reading Rainbow classic library of episodes through DVDs and streaming video.
“Every day of my life someone comes up to me and tells me about the impact the show had on them growing up,” he told Mashable. “It’s no secret that our educational system is no longer the platinum standard on the world stage that it once was. This is simply my way of continuing to do what I’ve always done, just in a different medium.”