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Reading Rainbow

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Two Old Potatoes and Me
Jordan Puryear reads Two Old Potatoes and Me, about a girl who works with her father to recycle two rotted potatoes by replanting them using the sprouts to grow a whole new crop of potatoes. LeVar, working with his daughter, is inspired to make potato dishes from recipes in the book.

Watch Reading Rainbow Season 20 Episode 5 Now

Mr. George Baker
Wayne Brady narrates the story of an elderly man who decides to go back to school to learn to read, even though he is almost 100, and his relationship with his young neighbor as they wait for the bus every day.

Watch Reading Rainbow Season 20 Episode 3 Now

Reading Rainbow, an American educational television program, aired on PBS from 1983 to 2006. Developed and produced by PBS's WNET, this show quickly became a beloved staple of children's programming for its innovative approach to reading. Designed to encourage a love for books and reading among children, Reading Rainbow was known for making reading intriguing, entertaining, and highly relatable for the younger audiences. At its core, the show was guided by the belief that children who love reading possess the capacity to learn and achieve anything. To foster an early interest in literature, Reading Rainbow utilized an array of rich narratives, engaging illustrations, and captivating animations, presenting books not just as an academic tool but a sight to be explored and enjoyed. The format of Reading Rainbow was simple yet effective. The program typically started with its charismatic host, LeVar Burton, introducing a children's book that served as the theme for the episode. The book's story was read aloud, often with dramatic pan-ins over the book's artwork to immerse viewers fully in the storyteller's world. Each narration was distinctively vivid and animated, supplemented by sound effects to heighten the sensory experience. After the initial narration, the show transitioned seamlessly into real-world connections. To supplement the book's themes, the program featured field trips, interviews, and other expositions that related to the book's subject matter. This segment offered practical, real-world applications for the themes and ideas presented in the books, thereby solidifying the connection between reading, comprehension, and the larger world. The program also often presented book reviews from children themselves. These reviews were generally short recommendations where children described a book they enjoyed and why. Emphasizing authenticity, children came from diverse backgrounds and their reviews spanned a wide range of book genres, showing that anyone could be a reader and that there is no one ‘right’ kind of book to enjoy. A vital component of the show's appeal was its host, LeVar Burton, famed for his roles on Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Burton’s warm and friendly demeanor made him an effective and beloved host. He was instrumental in giving the show its inviting, supportive format, encouraging kids to "take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow." Burton was more than just a host; he was a mentor, guide, and a friend who took the viewers on enriching journeys across the vast landscapes of literature. In addition to its enriching content, Reading Rainbow was known for its catchy theme song. The optimistic tune encapsulated the joyous spirit of the show, promising children that "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high" – a metaphor for the limitless potential of reading. For its efforts, Reading Rainbow received widespread acclaim and recognition during its run. Garnering over 26 Emmy Awards, including 11 for Outstanding Children’s Series, as well as the George Foster Peabody Award, the program’s impact transcended the realm of television. Its in-school program, launched in 1985, guided teachers on using episodes to enhance lesson plans, further reiterating Reading Rainbow's commitment to children's literacy. Reading Rainbow wasn't just a show; it was a movement that touched millions of lives. Its legacy is undeniable, having inspired and nurtured countless generations towards a lifelong love of reading. Despite its departure from television screens in 2006, the spirit of Reading Rainbow continues to live on, inspiring numerous literacy initiatives to this day. The program's enduring appeal testifies to its timeless wisdom - the ability to unlock a world of wonder, knowledge, and unlimited imagination through the power of books.

Reading Rainbow is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 20 seasons with a total of 177 episodes, the show debuted on 1983. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.4.

LeVar Burton
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