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Mon, 8 Jul ’13

Take His Word For It: LeVar Burton on the Reading Rainbow App

30 years on and the butterfly is in the digital sky

Former Nerdist Podcast guest LeVar Burton is a television legend. He became a household name when he starred as Kunta Kinte in the landmark miniseries Roots and became the integral visor-wearing part of the crew of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. To kids from 1983 until today, however, he will always be the host of the popular PBS series Reading Rainbow. Now, in its 30th anniversary year, Burton and Rainbow are helping tech-savvy kids learn to read with the very popular Reading Rainbow app.

“You only get to 30 years one step at a time,” Burton said, “and the first step in our mission was to use the radical medium of television to promote literature to kids, no more or no less nefarious an idea than that, and it worked.” Using this tried and true formula to the 21st Century, Burton and company hit upon the future of everybody’s favorite go-anywhere show. “The next step is to apply that same idea to the new medium of tablet computers. The message is the same, just the medium is different.”

Getting kids to read? What a novel idea! The Reading Rainbow app is available now from the Apple store and the Kindle Fire store and to read more from LeVar Burton, including what he considers his top ten television moments and his take on the new “golden age” of TV, head over to Nerdist.com. You don’t have to take our word for it.