The popular children’s literacy program Reading Rainbow is returning in the form of an iPad app. The program was cancelled after 26 years on the air, a casualty of cuts to government funding for public broadcasting.
The show has been revived due to the efforts of RRKidz, a startup co-founded by former host LeVar Burton and producer Mark Wolfe. Speaking with TechCrunch, Burton and Wolfe said users can expect the same focus on child literacy, but with an interactive flair that wasn’t possible when the show was on television.
RRKidz teamed with numerous children’s book publishers to bring interactive children’s books to the iPad under the Reading Rainbow banner. Burton and Wolfe say they still believe the brand holds cachet with many of today’s parents of young children. The parents likely grew up watching the show on television.
The free version of the app allows kids to have access to one book and one video, which are done in the style of the original TV show, for each of the game’s floating islands. Users can pay a subscription fee of $10 a month for unlimited access to all the books.
The app is available for free in the App Store.