LeVar Burton talks new ‘Reading Rainbow’

Burton is back.

Even though “Reading Rainbow” is no longer on the airwaves, the children’s program has not run its course. Released only Wednesday, the “Reading Rainbow” iPad app became the No. 1 educational app in less than two days. LeVar Burton, the app’s host (and the co-founder and curator-in-chief for RRKidz, Inc., the company behind it) catches us up with the series’ quick turnaround for the newest generation.

How soon after “Reading      Rainbow” stopped airing did you know you needed to adapt it to a new medium?

Fairly immediately. All the press that it got, and that sort of public outcry, was surprising. It really got our attention. We thought, it’s notver for this brand. It’s ripe for a reinvention of itself, and we started focusing on it immediately.

Why is now the right time to bring the show back?

I think it’s just that weird confluence of a lot of factors. When we began this journey, the iPad hadn’t even come out yet. And when it did, it really helped inform what we were in the process of figuring out. Another one of the factors is that there is a whole generation of adults now who grew up on this show, and they really want something that they can share with their kids that they feel good about — that in a world of increasing proliferation of devices and technology, there is at least one thing they can rely on that is good for their kids. Back in the day, your parents didn’t need to know what program you were watching if the channel was tuned to PBS, right? And that is what I believe we represent to folks, and our kids as a new enrichment plan for children and their families.

How can parents get their children to enjoy reading?

Find out what your kid loves and get your kid reading material on that subject. It’s pretty darn simple.

How is technology changing the reading experience for kids today?
   
I think the reading experience itself, the idea of sitting down, whether it’s in a book or on an electronic device, and engaging yourself in a narrative, that will never change. Storytelling will never go out of style. Neither will the human desire to travel in our imaginations through good books. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a device or in a booklet. I believe we will reach, probably in the not-too-distant future, a decision that it doesn’t make much sense anymore to tear down trees to make books. Books will become more rare, they will become more precious to us. But I don’t think we’ll ever see a world where there are no printed books. I just don’t see that happening. But I do believe we will come to consume most of the literature we read on an electronic device, on a pad of some sort.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.