Fun Fact Friday: Reading Rainbow

LeVar Burton on the set of Star Trek: TNG

LeVar Burton on the set of Star Trek: TNGDid you know that Reading Rainbow, which debuted in 1983, continued to run new episodes for over 20 years? Reading Rainbow ran from 1983 until 2006, and was hosted by LeVar Burton for its entire run. Burton was also one of the program’s creators, as well as executive producer.

Burton, who would become a household name in 1987 for the role of Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, continued to demonstrate his devotion to Reading Rainbow throughout Star Trek’s seven year television run, as well as through the subsequent four feature films.

Burton used his increased stature in the media as a platform to tirelessly promote Reading Rainbow and other educational causes, even creating a tie in episode of Reading Rainbow, which he hosted from the set of Star Trek. In that episode, titled The Bionic Bunny Show (after the book by Marc Brown and Laurene Krasny Brown) Burton went behind the scenes of Star Trek to demonstrate the effort that goes into making the show, from filming the model of the starship Enterprise, to the post production and special effects. The episode naturally includes a reading of the book, which fittingly tells the story of Wilbur, an ordinary rabbit who plays a superhero on TV.

Want to know more? Reading Rainbow: The Bionic Bunny Show, as well as the entire Reading Rainbow series, can be seen on DE streaming!


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  1. Kelly Hines said:

    I love the Reading Rainbow shows on DE. One year, my 4th graders and I watched several of them, and then they made their own. It was awesome inspiration!

  2. Carolyn Stanley said:

    I am so thrilled that today’s students still have access to these wonderful videos. I am an adult, and I still am fascinated by all the extras beside the reading of the story of the day. For younger children, search on Weston Woods. All of those wonderful children’s picture books are available. It is such a rich resource. Today’s middle schoolers have the resources available to make similar videos of more current titles, if they can get permission from the authors. They can bring books alive for younger readers.

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