LeVar Burton to give a talk to Tulane students

Bess Turner, Contributing Reporter

LeVar Burton, known mostly for his role in the television show “Star Trek” and for his involvement in the educational children’s show “Reading Rainbow,” will speak at Tulane University at 8 p.m. on Sept. 8 in McAlister Auditorium.

Burton jumpstarted his career as Kunta Kinte on the miniseries “Roots” and went on to join the cast of “Star Trek: Next Generation” as the VISOR-wearing Lt. Geordi La Forge in 1987.

Burton worked as executive producer and hosted the influential PBS show “Reading Rainbow,” which has been encouraging children to read books and enjoy learning for over 30 years. The show ran from 1983 until 2006, and was syndicated until 2009. “Reading Rainbow” has won over 200 broadcasting awards, including 26 Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Burton is a relentless advocate of child literacy and on May 28 of this year began a Kickstarter to fund the return of “Reading Rainbow” with the goal of reaching $1,000,000 by July 2. The Kickstarter has now raised well over $5,000,000. This funding has allowed Burton to expand the show into a free educational source for schools in need. “Reading Rainbow” has also been released as an app for selected tablets and is one of the most popular and highly rated apps for children’s education.