Reading Rainbow and the Importance of Childhood Literacy

Last week, CLI Executive Director, Kelly Hunter, Ed.D., appeared live on HuffPost Live, a live-streaming network. The show hosted by Janet Varney also featured LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow to discuss the importance of childhood literacy. The segment was titled “ Reading Rainbow Returns” and focused on the new Reading Rainbow app for iPads and the importance of childhood literacy.  

Burton had a book cover for his iPad to demonstrate his love for literacy. When the app launched it had 160 books about 16 videos for users to explore. Reading Rainbow ran on PBS for 26 years. The app is expected to revolutionize  the way children learn to read. Varney referred to the app as “ New school but old school.” Burton discussed how people are often asking him if this suggests the end of literature on printed paper. His response “ I don’t think so- we need both actually.” He suggested that literature is always changing.  “ Hunter said “ Literacy is developing- it isn’t a stagnant thing.” Kelly explained that the use of multimedia for reading allows students to apply what they are reading and have a “full experience.” She described that here at CLI, we want to put the best tools into teacher’s hands which is why great literature is never far from her mind. 
In addition to Kelly, Josh Brooks a Reading Rainbow fan joined the segment too. They discussed the important of accessibility to great literature. Additionally they discussed how reading is fundamental to every aspect of daily life. Hunter shared with the group that “ The number one threat to our national security is our low literacy rate” which further sparked the conversation about the importance of early childhood literacy. 
Burton and Hunter also discussed how Burton supports CLI’s mission and has been an active supporter of CLI for over 25 years. 

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