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Reading Rainbow fans were blessed with 25 years of this wonderful educational show. The show started in 1983 and continued well into the 21st century.  It was a well-recognized show, winning over 200 awards for broadcasting. But how did the show last so long, and why do so many children and adults love it so much?

The two biggest factors to the success of the Reading Rainbow episodes are the great subject matter and the show’s brilliant host LeVar Burton.

The slogan of Reading Rainbow videos is “Opening Books – Opening Minds,” and it did just that. The show focused its attention on encouraging children to read. Each of the Reading Rainbow episodes hinges on a theme from a children’s book, and has book reviews from real children. The show was aired on PBS until August of 2009, but Reading Rainbow DVD videos are still available.

Burton was not only the host of Reading Rainbow, but he was also an executive producer. Yet even before Reading Rainbow, Burton was a well known actor. He is recognized for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning miniseries “Roots” and as Geordi La Forge on the science fiction series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” But it more than Burton’s dedication to acting that made him successful on the show, he also had a passion for helping children enjoy reading.

Burton’s passion for reading is obvious in every episode. He found interesting themes in every book, and his droll reactions to funny situations touched both children and adults. In 2010 Burton announced he is working on Reading Rainbow 2.0 on the social media website Twitter.

Families and children love the show, and it has been a great tool for teachers. Currently, 153 of the Reading Rainbow videos can be found online and are sold as a Reading Rainbow DVD with instructional resources.

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