“Butterfly in the Sky
I can go twice as high
Take a look
It’s in a book!”
Nostalgia aside, how many of you remember Reading Rainbow? If you were alive in the 80s, 90s or even the 00s, odds are you remember the television show that encouraged children to read.
The fact that it was hosted by LeVar Burton (also known as Jordie from the popular Star Trek the Next Generation series) was only icing on the cake.
The show came to the end of its 26 year long run in 2006. That made it the third longest running children’s show in PBS history – outlasted only by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers.
The show was cancelled because of a fundamental shift in the in the philosophy of educational television programming. Reading Rainbow followed the reasoning of the 80s and 90s, which was to teach kids why they should read. Pick up a book – go to Hogwarts, Mount Doom, the moon, all these places without commercials.
(For the record it worked for this author – Reading Rainbow was one of my favourite shows as a kid!)
Today, the focus has shifted from teaching kids why they should read, to teaching kids how to read. Reading Rainbow just didn’t cut it, and its book finally closed.
Or so we thought.
READING RAINBOW IS BACK
We live in the age of Crowdfunding and Kickstarter. Today, you don’t need to find a network, publisher or sponsor to create great ideas and shows. You can take them directly to the source – the audience.
That is just what LeVar Burton did.
The original goal for the project was a lofty 1 million dollars.
He got two million in a single day.
The project will be running on Kickstarter until July 2 at 3pm, so if you want to donate you still can by clicking HERE
As of writing this blog over $3, 635, 451 has been raised.
UPDATE: Due to overwhelming success, LeVar Burton has issued a new financial challenge for the campaign. He hopes to raise 5 million dollars.
WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT READING RAINBOW?
Well, first of all – NOSTALGIA! It’s Reading Rainbow people!
Secondly, and for a much more important if not valid reason, to show you the power of Crowdfunding in action.
I’ve explained how Crowdfunding works before. As with all things, seeing something in theory and reality are very different.
Crowdfunding can bring anything to life – whether its a tech product, a initiative, or a dead television program that the networks have given up on.
Everyone can present an idea and possibly get it funded.
So, without further ado, I’m going to highlight some of the most successful and interesting Kickstarter campaigns out there. Now, these are my own opinions and the results of whether or not the campaign is meeting its goal. If you disagree or have anything to add, please do so in the comments blow, or on any of our other Social Media pages!
A molecular sensor that fits into your pocket. Might sound complicated, but what that means is you can now analyze food, plants and medications in real time! Anything from nutritional facts, medical information and finding out which watermelon is sweetest at the grocery store.
All this information is sent instantly to your smart phone.
The campaign was asking for $200,000, as of this blog they had raised $2, 502, 696.
There are still 4 days to go. You can check out the campaign HERE
Homey, The Living Room
A speech controlled home automation device. With just a voice command, you can talk to and control everything in your home from lights to music, from climate to TV.
Check out the campaign HERE
The campaign will be ending on July 27. They were asking for 100, 000 pounds, and have already reached 172, 734 with 15 days to go.
Augie and the Green Knight: A Childrens Adventure Book
Of course it’s not just technology that gets pushed through in Crowdfunding. This particular project is a children’s book about a scientifically precocious young girl in a world of fantasy.
Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video here, so you can check out their entire Kickstarter campaign plus video HERE
This project was asking for $30,000 and has already reached $233, 116 with over 21 days still to go.
This one is especially exciting to me for two reasons:
- It’s local! Kitchner Ontario is just about 30 minutes from where this company is located.
- It involves baking and icing!
The Discov3ry Extruder from Structur3D Printing actually prints edible food!
Like LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow, the Discov3ry hit its goal of $30, 000 in less than 24 hours. It is now sitting at $49, 191 with over 30 days to go. You can check out the entire campaign HERE
That’s it folks – a list of all the current Kickstarter projects that I want to spend money on. If you disagree or want to add anything, please let me know in the comments below.