The End of the (Reading) Rainbow

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Reading Rainbow, the book-centric PBS children’s series, has reached the end of its 26-year run, NPR reports. We remember it best as the show various babysitters parked us in front of during our formative years, but we do love to read, so maybe its message sank in. We weep for host LeVar Burton and his legion of fans, even though we have to admit that we didn’t know the show was still on the air. Blame it on the recession…oh yeah, and George W. Bush’s education policy. Because the show stresses why kids should love reading rather than how to read, it’s not in line with the Bush administration’s focus on phonics and spelling. So basically, George W. Bush killed Reading Rainbow. After the jump, a guided tour through some timeless Reading Rainbow clips.

First, the famous theme song. How we loved that butterfly!

An eight-year-old talks about a Babysitter’s Club book.

LeVar schools us on beekeeping.

Finally, the theme song gets an indie-rock facelift.