The last episode aired Friday, August 28, 2009 on PBS. It’s the end of an era. Reading Rainbow is gone.
The theme song I’ll always remember:
Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high, Take a look, It’s in a book, The Reading Rainbow
Reading Rainbow aired from 1983-2009, with the last original episodes being taped in 2006. The winner of a Peabody award and 26 Emmy awards, ten of which were in the “Outstanding Children’s Series” category. It was the third longest running program on PBS, after Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood & Sesame Street.
It was the home of fantastic book reviews by kids for kids, the celebrity guests reading greatly beloved stories, and LeVar Burton’s melodic voice telling viewers “But you don’t have to take my word for it,” & “I’ll see you next time.”…ALL GONE.
Why is it gone. It’s gone because PBS decided that it was in children’s best interest to teach them how to read instead of teaching them how to love reading. That’s what Reading Rainbow did. It taught the love of reading.
What do you think dear readers? Was that a good choice that PBS made?
I say no, no, no…a thousand times no. There are many shows that teach children how to read. However, Reading Rainbow was the after. What happens after someone learns to read? Once a child learns to read, will they continue to do it? or Will it fall by the wayside like so many forgotten hobbies? Reading Rainbow made a big difference in my children’s lives and the lives of countless others. I’d like to know where I can catch old episodes in reruns or on DVD. I am not ready to say good-bye to Reading Rainbow just yet.
Once again, shame on you PBS!