Those butterflies in the sky will fly twice as high with the help of Seth MacFarlane. The actor/writer/director announced he would match any money donated to the "Reading Rainbow" Kickstarter project during its last five days, up to $1 million. With MacFarlane's assistance, LeVar Burton will be able to bring his program, aimed at helping kids learn to read, to more children.
The project to bring the "Reading Rainbow" show back via new material for the app version of the series ends Wednesday afternoon. It currently stands at $4.4 million in donations, raised by 90,000 individuals. If donations reach $5 million, MacFarlane's matching amount will raise the total to $6 million.
The Kickstarter project is already in its stretch goals, having originally asked for $1 million in donations. The project reached that total in less than one day and has continued raising money since then.
The first $1 million in donations has allowed the development of a new web version of the app and for the creation of classroom materials to support the books and videos featured in the "Reading Rainbow" app. And those educational materials will be donated for free to 1,500 needy classrooms.
If donations reach $5 million, and it is almost guaranteed to get there with MacFarlane's help, new versions of the app will also be made, adding support for iOS and Android phones, game consoles and other set-top boxes. Perhaps more importantly, free school materials will now go to 7,500 classrooms. And if donations do reach $5 million, with MacFarlane raising the total to $6 million, "Reading Rainbow" will got to an additional 5,000 classes, reaching 12,500 classrooms in total.
"Reading Rainbow" was a show hosted and produced by actor LeVar Burton, best known for the "Roots" television miniseries and for the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" television series. The show was produced for PBS television stations from 1983 to 2009. It featured animated retellings of children's book, book reports from kids and educational field trip segments by Burton, usually on a subject tied to the book that was featured in that episode.
Seth MacFarlane is the creator of the "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "Cleveland Show" animated television shows. He also wrote, directed and acted in the films "Ted" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West."