Burton, executive producer and host of the program that ran on PBS for 26 years until 2009, is creating a mobile application through his site RRKidz, which he started in September.
“There is a brand new generation of kids who could definitely use the kind of spark and inspiration Reading Rainbow provided where actually becoming a reader is concerned,” Burton told Mashable. “As far as I can tell, reading will never go out of style, and neither will good old-fashioned storytelling.”
While the site already sells episodes of the program, which won a Peabody and 26 Emmys, Burton recognizes the way kids today consume media — digitally. “The center point of the app is books,” Burton said. “Wonderful, lightly enhanced digital books for children. However, we’re also very interested in delivering an enriching experience to kids, much like classic Reading Rainbow did on TV.”
Burton explained that the app is just the first step in a long-term plan that will included DVDs and streaming of classic episodes.
“Every day of my life someone comes up to me and tells me about the impact the show had on them growing up,” Burton said. “It’s no secret that our educational system is no longer the platinum standard on the world stage that it once was. This is simply my way of continuing to do what I’ve always done, just in a different medium.”