Actor and author Levar Burton, star of the much loved show Reading Rainbow, has just gone public with his plans to launch a new company.
He has partnered on the project with Buffalo’s WNED-TV, rights-holder to the 1983-2006 PBS series Reading Rainbow. He’s raised $3 million in capital for the new venture, which is going to be called RRKidz. Burton said that the company plan to release a reading app for the iPad and for Android. The app will be free, and users will be able buy any of 300 interactive ebooks from a collection that will be curated by Burton. He also plans to narrate a number of the ebooks himself.
The goal of RRKidz is to give parents a trustworthy source for books that they can share with their children without having to worry about the content or inspecting every single book. The interactive possibilities of the iPad will allow the RRKidz developers to create rich applications that can be as appealing to kids as the video games that compete for their attention.
He’s been working on RRkidz for at least the last 15 months, and he sees an unfulfilled need in education. “What it takes to educate kids is to get them focused on having fun while learning. The next evolution focused my attention on new media, said Burton. “Just like 25 years ago, our TV show made it really clear, the digital devices we carry around in our hands have enormous power. They’re incredibly attractive to all of us, including kids.”
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