If you grew up on PBS, then Reading Rainbow was one of your staple shows. The show, hosted by LeVar Burton got kids excited about reading in an age of digital distractions. Sadly, the PBS show was cancelled in 2009, to be resurrected in 2013 as a tablet app for the iPad and Kindle Fire thanks to RRKidz, a company co-founded by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton.
The app has skyrocketed to success, becoming the number one educational app out there. Over 10 million books and video field trips have been viewed and read in the 18 months since Reading Rainbow was re-imagined.
“Over 131,000 books a week are being read by children using our service in 47 countries across the world including China, India, South Africa, Israel, and Japan. I am so proud we have been able to use today’s technology to continue Reading Rainbow’s 30-year tradition of developing a passion for reading in our children,” – LeVar Burton, Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of RRKidz
The Reading Rainbow app can be downloaded for free for iPad and Kindle devices, and requires a six-month subscription which costs $29.99. That’s pretty reasonable considering the amount of educational resources the app provides.
Mashable was able to catch up with LeVar at CES 2014 and chat about Reading Rainbow’s success. It’s a good interview, and worth watching. But you don’t have to take my word for it…check it out below!
LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow App Reaches 10 Million Books Read and Learning Videos Watched by Children in Only 18 Months
The number one tablet reading service from RRKidz achieves exciting milestone in its mission to inspire a new generation to read.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) January 06, 2014
LeVar Burton and RRKidz, the company responsible for relaunching the highly successful Reading Rainbow App, is proud to share that 10 million books and video field trips have been enjoyed by children using the mobile reading service in just 18 months. Featured as one of the Apple’s Learning Made Fun Apps, as well as the Best Kids App for ages 6-8 years, Reading Rainbow also received multiple parent and industry accolades this past year. PC Magazine, Common Sense Media, Parent’s Choice, Dr. Toy, and Creative Child Magazine, among others, honored Reading Rainbow for excellence in learning and technology. For the number one educational App, these events represent a key milestone in Burton’s mission.
“Over 131,000 books a week are being read by children using our service in 47 countries across the world including China, India, South Africa, Israel, and Japan. I am so proud we have been able to use today’s technology to continue Reading Rainbow’s 30-year tradition of developing a passion for reading in our children,” says LeVar Burton, Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of RRKidz.
Reading Rainbow was re-imagined in mid 2012 as a new interactive experience designed for today’s mobile families. This award-winning reading subscription service offers parents a trusted quality library of fiction and non-fiction children’s books customized to their child’s age and interests. Presented as worlds of reading, children travel to themed islands such as Animal Kingdom, Awesome People, Genius Academy, National Geographic Kids and more to discover books from acclaimed publishers. Children can read each story on their own or choose to have it read to them, often by Spoken Word Grammy award winner Burton himself.
The service also features newly produced video field trips, reminiscent of the original TV series, connecting the stories children read to the world they live in. These exclusive behind the scenes kids videos transport children on real-life adventures to places like The White House, Santa Barbara Zoo, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Broadway musicals, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
With over 500 children’s books and video field trips, and more content added every week, the service is continually expanding. RRKidz plans to bring its Reading Rainbow library to more platforms this coming year.
“The Reading Rainbow App is not just another digital bookshelf. As storytellers, we focused on creating an experience for kids to discover books and we produced all new video field trips to extend the learning experiences they were reading about,” said Mark Wolfe, Co-Founder/CEO of RRKidz.
“The success from this past year has been exciting and marks the first step in our goal to become the leading kids’ enrichment brand – one that delights and educates children while maintaining parents’ trust and helps them truly discover quality in an otherwise cluttered digital world.”
The App is free to download on the iPad and Kindle Fire. For unlimited access to the entire collection of books and video field trips, families can subscribe for less than $5 per month for a six-month subscription. To learn more about Reading Rainbow’s digital products, visit http://www.readingrainbow.com or download the App for the iPad (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-rainbow/id512350210?mt=8) or Kindle Fire (http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Rainbow/dp/B00B9K2TSQ).
About LeVar Burton:
Cofounder and Chief Curation Officer of RRKidz, Burton along with his business partner Mark Wolfe, lead the RRKidz team in developing innovative new digital learning solutions for kids. Best known for his Reading Rainbow stewardship as well as his other distinguished TV roles (most notably Kunta Kinte on Roots and Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation), LeVar Burton comes from a family of educators and is widely recognized for his lifelong advocacy of children’s literacy. He speaks passionately on the topics of children’s learning and technology and has been a keynote speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW) Edu and received the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children’s Media from Tufts University.
About RRKidz, Inc.:
RRKidz provides interactive platforms for families to discover and explore exceptional digital media content that is both educational and entertaining. Headquartered in Los Angeles, RRKidz holds global rights to the trusted Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator, WNED-TV, a premier PBS station.
Reading Rainbow’s iPad App and Kindle App take children on a guided reading adventure hosted by LeVar Burton. Filled with a library of quality ebooks and kids videos, the educational App is free to try. New children’s books, videos, reading activities and educational games are added every week encouraging kids to believe they can “go anywhere, be anything.” To download the Reading Rainbow App go to the App Store or for more information, visit http://www.readingrainbow.com.