American children's show Reading Rainbow ends 26 year run

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reading Rainbow, an American children's television series is to stop showing on television. It ceased to be shown on Friday after a 26 year long run because of a funding shortfall of several hundred thousand dollars needed to renew the broadcast rights.

The PBS show has more than two-dozen Emmy awards, and its run is shorter only than Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Each episode of the show would focus on a theme in a specific book and then explore that theme through multiple stories. Each show would also provide recommendations for books that children should look for when they went to their library.

John Grant, from WNED Buffalo (Reading Rainbow's home station) said "Reading Rainbow taught kids why to read,... the love of reading — [the show] encouraged kids to pick up a book and to read."

Linda Simensky, vice president for children's programming at PBS, said "We've been able to identify the earliest steps that we need to take. Now we know what we need to do first. Even just from five years ago, I think we all know so much more about how to use television to teach." She went on to say that the running length of the show was "miraculous".

It is believed by some, including John Grant, that both the funding crunch and a shift in the philosophy of educational television programming contributed to ending the series.


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