I had a moment of nostalgia recently (as I am wont to do -- I'm a sucker for nostalgia), and I remembered something from my youth that's still with us today, standing strong against the test of time. I speak of none other than Reading Rainbow.
For most of us, our love of reading is something that's developed over time. Those of us who write -- no matter our skill level, our audience, or really any other factor, probably derived this love in turn from a love of reading. And where did that love start? Probably when we were children. It certainly did for me.
I wasn't even old enough to read when Reading Rainbow first aired (back in the days before the GC rendered opening sequence), and when I think back on the fact that it is still very much alive and well in one form or another, I can't help but feel a bit humbled. Programs like Reading Rainbow simply wouldn't survive long if not for support from -- and forgive me for the direct quote -- "viewers like you". No matter what technology has brought forth, no matter how early in our lives we are being exposed to popular entertainment or learning to use computers, I get that warm feeling when I realize that kids out there are still reading, and the rest of us still find enough value in the written word to ensure it remains part of the lives of "the next generation" (yes, yes, I had to include that phrase somewhere).
I also don't think Reading Rainbow would have the legacy it does if not for LeVar Burton. Yes, those of you who know me should be well aware what a huge trekkie I am, and of course that I am a fan of LeVar's work in that series. But before TNG, through it, and after it, Reading Rainbow was always there. I salute LeVar's contributions to society, whether he was teaching me about a new book to get excited over, instilling in me a "Starfleet" sense of personal integrity, or influencing my sense of multicultural equality through the character of Kunta Kinte.
Unless I miss my guess, the original TV series of Reading Rainbow should be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. So take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow!
But you don't have to take MY word for it...