DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Sep 4 2009

The End of the Rainbow

by Jesse M

reading-rainbowOn Friday, August 28, the award winning children’s program Reading Rainbow aired its final episode. It marked the end of an era. For the past 26 years, host LeVar Burton has introduced countless children worldwide to the joys of reading. In that time the show has been the recipient of over 250 awards, including 26 Emmys (ten for “Outstanding Children’s Series”), a Peabody, and nine Parent’s Choice Awards. While the show stopped producing new episodes in 2006, PBS had continued to air reruns until last month, when lack of funding made it impossible for them to renew the show’s broadcast rights. This unfortunate happenstance is at least partially due to a paradigm shift in children’s literacy work which asserts that the focus should be on teaching the mechanics of reading instead of attempting to foster a love of books, as Reading Rainbow did (See the NPR article for more on this).

The Library has many Reading Rainbow videos available for checking out.   Additionally, the Reading Rainbow section of the PBS kids website is still running and will remain accessible until December 2009.

I was a huge fan of the show as a kid, and though it has been many, many years since I last had the pleasure of viewing it, I still remember the words to the theme song. I bet you do too.

Correction: originally, this post said that the Reading Rainbow series was not available at the Library.  This was a mistake, and has been corrected above.  Thanks to the readers who pointed this out to us!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nez September 5, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Actually, we do have quite a few Reading Rainbow videos and DVDs in the DCPL system. You can search them in the library catalog by using the Series Word search and typing “reading rainbow.” Then you can limit your results to just DVDs or just videos to see what episodes we own.

I am saddened to hear that Reading Rainbow is no longer. I remember watching the show as a child myself and loved each minute of it. I am glad to say that some of my own love of reading came from that particular children’s show.

Perrismo512mof3 September 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I used to love watching this son as a kid, and with my oldest. I had no clue this show was still on the air.
This show will truly be missed.

Jnai W September 5, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Whaaaaaaaaat?! No more Reading Rainbow?! You should keep news like this to yourself, Jesse. (Good post though)

margaret September 5, 2009 at 8:49 PM

There are Reading Rainbow DVD’s available in the libraries in DeKalb County. I am not sure why the person who wrote this says there are not. I have checked them out for the kids.

Jesse M. September 9, 2009 at 5:05 PM

I am delighted to hear that I was mistaken about DVDs being available in the catalog. I can only attribute my ignorance to my unfamiliarity searching the catalog from the website instead of the staff interface. Thanks for clearing that up, Nez and Margaret!

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