Butterfly in the Sky

I admit to more than occasionally cursing technology, usually when my computer is having issues or when I would dearly love to leave the phone stuck on the wall at home when I go out. There are also aspects of technology that I adore such as spell check. Or the fact that I can look up almost any information I need in less than five minutes right from my desk. We won’t even go into shopping options. I love the fact that technology allows crowd funding so people can support products they want created. Or in this case, brought back.

Normally I handle canceled TV shows pretty well. I growl a bit but the world doesn’t end when a TV show does. There are only two occasions when I’ve felt the need to tell a network official he/she/it is an idiot. Thanks to crowd funding one of those is coming back. I’m talking about Reading Rainbow. I freely admit to watching the show while eating breakfast before work as an adult. I have purchased many Reading Rainbow books for the kids in my life. It was a chance to take a trip to a fun place in under half an hour. It encouraged kids to find more books on whatever topic the show was about. In other words, it showed kids that research can be fun and interesting, not just a boring assignment for school. Not to mention the fantastic LaVar Burton. Who better to introduce ideas and books to kids than someone who does both historical and science fiction?

I could not believe it when PBS canceled Reading Rainbow. I sent complaints to every person who might have a say that I could find and got polite “thank you for your input but we know more about what people want than you do” responses. My thought on getting each of these was, “Wanna bet?”

When a friend sent me the link for the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter I cheered. True, it still wouldn’t be back on PBS but there would be a lot of ways to find it and it would be available to schools. I had no doubt it would hit the one million dollar goal. It took less than 12 hours for that to happen. I thought, “PBS really should be paying attention to this.” When the campaign raised $5,408,916 plus a generous one million match by Seth MacFarlane I cheered again. Reading Rainbow is back!

There’s no denying that raising over five million dollars is incredible. For me it got even more interesting a few days ago when I decided to look over the final results. Now, any one who knows me knows numbers are not my thing but I had to pull out my calculator anyway. There were enough small donations, $75 and under, to meet and exceed the one million dollar goal. I’m not knocking the large donations, mind you; the people who could and did contribute more are wonderful. What this tells me is that a large number of people with small incomes want Reading Rainbow available for their kids. When given a chance to pull together to make it happen, they did. And that is an amazing thing.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

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