LeVar Burton

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LeVar Burton

The honored recipient of 13 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and 5 NAACP Awards, LeVar Burton's acting career includes the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series Roots, and also the role of Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in the iconic Star Trek:The Next Generation series and feature films.

 

It, however, has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children's series, Reading Rainbow, that he is most proud of. It was not only one of the longest-running children's television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, garnering over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

 

Always committed to improving children's education through innovative uses of storytelling, in 2012 Burton launched RRKids (now LeVar Burton Kids), a digital publishing company designed to continue his mission through a platform that would find children in this modern space of the internet, and imbue in them a passion for reading. The result was that Reading Rainbow was reimagined to combine today's form of media and technology with the goal of inspiring a new generation of children to embrace literature. The all-new version of Reading Rainbow is a digital reading service filled with over 500 fiction and non-fiction books, newly produced video field trips and constant new content.

 

Recently, Burton turned to Kickstarter to bring Reading Rainbow to "Every Child Everywhere" — especially to classrooms in need. The Kickstarter campaign became the most funded ever at that time and in 2015 RRKidz introduced Reading Rainbow EDU, complete with engaging supplemental learning content for teachers and students.

 

In October 2014, RRKidz published Burton's first children's book, The Rhino Who Swallowed The Storm, a powerful and uplifting story to help children cope with life's difficulties and challenges.