Reading Rainbow

August 1st, 1987 - January 31st, 1991 | PROJECT

READING RAINBOW is a multi-part PBS children's television series that encourages children ages five through nine to read good books. The program format involves book reviews through narration and illustration with an overall program theme set by a lead book. With support from NSF they have produced and aired five half hour programs devoted to science books and science topics as part of the READING RAINBOW series. The present proposal will add an additional eight programs that focus on scientific themes over the next four seasons of the program, demonstrating to children how science is integrated into all aspects of their lives and encouraging them to read science books. The series utilizes a thorough system of book and program topic review before material is selected for each program. Scientists, educators, librarians, teachers, parents, and children evaluate candidate books for interest, appropriateness, readability, and suitability for television treatment. READING RAINBOW programs are evaluated for effectiveness after they are produced to provide feedback for future programs. The resulting programs are having a substantial effect on home, school, and library. Booksellers are reporting dramatic increases in sales of reviewed books; librarians greatly increased requests for and use of materials. Recent READING RAINBOW book reviews have led to new covers and new marketing programs for books, and teachers are using materials during the school year following summer broadcast. Publishers, seeing an increased market for books for young children, are encouraging new work by authors and illustrators. A $750,000 award over three years is recommended: $250,000 for FY 87, and additional amounts of $250,000 in FY 88 and $250,000 in FY 89.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Twila Liggett, Principal Investigator, Nebraskans for Public Television Inc (NPTV)
Stephen Lenzen, Co-Principal Investigator, Nebraskans for Public Television Inc (NPTV)
Jack McBride, Co-Principal Investigator, Nebraskans for Public Television Inc (NPTV)


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 8751433
Funding Amount: 750000


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | Literacy
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology