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In the FOXlight: LeVar Burton Shares Plans For New Reading Rainbow and 'Roots' Projects

LeVar Burton steps into the FOXlight to celebrate the return of "Reading Rainbow," his new "Roots" series and 50th anniversary of "Star Trek."

 

LeVar Burton has a lot to celebrate. Not only was his Kickstarter campaign to revive Reading Rainbow a huge success, but he's now planning to fly twice as high with a brand new project.

"We were looking to raise a million dollars and ended up raising, overall, $6.5 [million]," says Burton in an exclusive interview with FNC correspondent Michael Tammero. "And that gave us the opportunity to do something that we call 'Every Child, Everywhere.'"

As Burton explains, the goal of "Every Child, Everywhere" is to get Reading Rainbow's new digital/online product, called Skybrary, into 10,000 classrooms across the nation.

"We're already halfway there," says Burton of his plans for Skybrary, which offers students the chance to take virtual field trips to supplement their reading. "That's kind of the secret sauce of Reading Rainbow: combining the real-world experience with the literature the kids are reading."

Furthermore, Burton is currently co-producing a new, more historically accurate version of "Roots," the mini-series that launched his career.

"We now know that Juffure, the village from which [Kunta Kinte] came, was a major center of commerce, [and] we know that the Mandinka were horse warriors, not simply warriors," explains Burton of the differences viewers can expect. "So Kunta's origin story will have a different feeling, a different flavor."

But even with his new "Roots" series and the 50th anniversary of "Star Trek" just on the horizon, Burton is still most fond of his work to promote childhood education.

"I think that Reading Rainbow is probably the most important work I've ever done," he says. "Being the son of an English teacher, to have grown up and become a symbol for childhood literacy … Only in America."

Watch the rest of Burton's interview above for more, including his thoughts on being a part of the "Star Trek" universe.

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