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LeVar Burton Raises $1 Million to Bring ‘Reading Rainbow’ Back In Less Than 24 Hours [Video]

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

We did it! In just half a day, LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow” campaign to raise $1 million on Kickstarter reached its goal. And the amount of money raised is still growing.

As of this writing, more than 34,000 donors have donated nearly $1.6 million that will be used to bring Burton’s children’s TV classic to a new generation of readers.

The new incarnation of “Reading Rainbow” will be a web version for families at home, in addition to a classroom version for teachers. The program will be provided free of charge to schools in need.

If I had that kind of disposable income, I totally would have pledged $3,500 or more to have dinner with Burton and “This is your chance to ask Geordi, Kunta, or the Butterfly-in-the-Sky Guy anything YOU want!” Can we just call him Butterfly-in-the-Sky Guy from now on?

The online campaign, quickly gained speed thanks to a ton of internet buzz, and surpassed $1 million shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Burton, the creator and host of “Reading Rainbow” for 23 years through 2009, launched the Kickstarter campaign earlier in the day.

And it wasn’t just you and I who felt compelled to contribute to a fund that would bring back one of our most beloved TV shows from our childhood. Big names such as U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; television host Larry King, and Burton’s fellow “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alum Wil Wheaton also donated to the cause and spoke about it on Twitter:

Burton’s project offered several levels of rewards to supporters based on how much they donated – rewards included a chance to wear Burton’s Star Trek visor, Reading Rainbow app subscriptions, and what I’m sure will be a much coveted Reading Rainbow coffee mug.

This isn’t the first Kickstarter campaign to reach the $1 million mark in less than a day.

Last year, actress Kristen Bell’s campaign to crowdfund $2 million for a “Veronica Mars” movie reached its halfway point within five hours.

Burton previously brought back “Reading Rainbow” in 2012 as a tablet app filled with free books and video field trips. But, this new project will make the program accessible through other platforms. In the video promoting the Kickstarter campaign Burton explained,

Just being on tablets simply won’t get the job done for way too many of our families. This Kickstarter campaign is about reaching every web-connected child. Universal access. Thousands of more books than what we have now. And hundreds of more video field trips.

The Kickstarter campaign had until July 2 to reach the $1 million goal.

High five everyone. We did it.

Check out the campaign’s video below.

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