Good news for parents desperate for someone, anyone, to give them some tiny sliver of help raising their children! No, no one has announced plans to address the nationwide shortage of daycare workers, but at least Reading Rainbow is coming back!
The original series, hosted by LeVar Burton, ran on PBS from 1983 to 2006, and won 26 Emmys (in fact, there’s a whole separate Wikipedia page for Reading Rainbow‘s accolades). It was developed as a response to the “summer loss phenomena,” in which children’s literacy skills regressed over the summer because they weren’t reading as much. Each episode centered around a picture book (often read by a celebrity guest), and featured different segments related to the book’s themes.
Tragically, Burton won’t return to host the updated version, Reading Rainbow Live. Instead, “a diverse, talented and comedic troupe of young performers” will take over hosting duties. There will also be an interactive component to the show, via a virtual platform.
“We know it was a tough pandemic for parents, for caregivers, for teachers. We wanted to make sure that we have kids engaging with books and we’re going to use movement and music to engage kids in learning,” the show’s creative director, Amy Guglielmo, told CBS News.
Well, it’s no universal childcare, but that is perhaps too high a bar for a single television show! Nevertheless, it sounds very nice.