Back on June 6, 1983, Tight Times, the first episode of LeVar Burton‘s Reading Rainbow aired.
The series went on for twenty-one seasons, wrapping up in 2006, but has found new life online via the Reading Rainbow App.
Burton spoke about the series in an interview and explained the show struggled initially to get support. “Well, it was not easy,” he said. “We have always relied upon the kindness of people throughout the thirty years of Reading Rainbow.”
“We’d be begging for stuff,” said Burton, referring to locations and access, “and they’d say ‘no’…’Oh, you’re sweet but no.”
But as the show caught on, during the third season, “it became demonstrably easier,” said Burton, “to get people to say yes to the things that we were asking for.”
Burton also spoke about the app, explaining that it was a “library,” for children, providing a “variety of literature” for children.
Not only children were inspired by Reading Rainbow, but so was Burton himself. “Being a host and producer on that show has enriched my life in so many immeasurable ways,” he said. “The places that we went; the people that I interviewed, and certainly the books I’ve become exposed to and the books that have come into my life…Reading Rainbow has been the best job that I could ever imagine having.”
The Reading Rainbow App is now available for the Kindle Fire, as well as for the iPad.