I’ve talked about my love of reading in past posts. Reading has really been my life. So much knowledge yet to be learned, if only there were more hours in the day. You all know people like me. I’m the one who has read all the books before they were made into movies. I’m the quiet one, always contemplating a newly learned perspective. I was the child who didn’t want toys, but books.
Certainly being taught to read was a game changer. Being armed with the ability to learn new things on my own took me down a path that defined who I am. But before I could read there was someone who read to me. Someone who made books so much more than just pictures and stories, LeVar Burton.
I believe no other person has made as great a contribution to fostering the love of reading as LeVar Burton. From 1983-2009 he hosted the television show, “Reading Rainbow,” and now keeps it alive on mobile apps and on the internet. Mr. Burton has devoted a great part of his life to us and our children. He successfully fought after cancelation to keep “Reading Rainbow” in our lives today, by starting a kickstarter campaign, reaching the financial goal within the first day. This is truly a testament to the impact he made on the countless people who saw his show, and watched new possibilities unfold before their eyes.
LeVar Burton began his acting career playing Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries, “Roots.” He went on to host “Reading Rainbow” in 1983, and in 1987 starred as Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek The Next Generation.” While he is mostly recognised for his roles in these shows, he has appeared in many more throughout his career. For over thirty years he has been a role model, a teacher, a story teller, an advocate of knowledge. He introduced me to books before I was able to read them, and put my mind in motion. I think we would be hard pressed to find someone who has not been influenced by LeVar Burton.
Words change lives. We need more people today who foster a love of reading. Imagination drives innovation, and teaches us to think outside the box. It all begins with someone who inspires us, young and old alike (because you’re never to old to enjoy a good book). And reading, brings a wealth of knowledge.