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Press Release: Reading Rainbow Launches First-Ever App This Spring, Curated by Levar Burton

March 15, 2012

With its exciting, innovative and top-quality digital library, RRKidz brings Reading Rainbow to a new generation of children

Los Angeles, CA, March 14, 2012 RRKidz, the company responsible for relaunching the much beloved, Peabody Award-winning Reading Rainbow for a new generation, has partnered with leading publishers Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Holiday House, Charlesbridge Publishing and others to offer cherished children’s book titles through the first Reading Rainbow app, to launch this spring. This marks Reading Rainbow’s first venture into the digital world and offers publishing companies everywhere the unique opportunity to associate their titles with a brand respected by millions. It is the first step in RRKidz’ goal to become not only the leader in digital publishing for children, but also a major, multi-platform, kids’ educational and enrichment brand – one that delights children while maintaining parents’ devotion and trust. “We are thrilled to make our debut in the digital world with such an outstanding group of diverse publishers, both large and boutique,” said Sangita Patel, RRKidz President of Digital Publishing. “Reading Rainbow is the brand publishers can trust to introduce their titles to children. Unique to our platform is the ability to offer publishers a 360-degree solution for discovery, development, and distribution.” Originally a TV series designed to inspire a love of reading among young children, Reading Rainbow ran for 26 years on PBS (1983-2009) and was co-produced and hosted by actor LeVar Burton. RRKidz is run by Burton, Co-Founder, entertainment veteran Mark Wolfe and CEO Asra Rasheed. The Reading Rainbow app will feature an array of titles that have been carefully curated by Burton, a life-long children’s literacy advocate. The service includes an impressive selection of award-winning children’s books, providing families with a welcome opportunity to discover – or rediscover – quality literature for children. The Reading Rainbow app library will feature lightly enhanced digital books for children and will include both fiction and non-fiction titles. Children will be encouraged to explore a wide variety of interests from action and adventure to science and nature.   Proprietary Digital Publishing Tool RRKidz will create Reading Rainbow interactive book experiences through the company’s proprietary cloud-based Book Builder tool, which enables publishers to take their rich library of books and convert them to enhanced books quickly, affordably, and across multiple platforms. “Kids love technology and that’s where we want to be,” noted John Briggs, president of Holiday House. “Not only will the Reading Rainbow name draw readers, but the fact that the book selection will be curated by LeVar Burton himself makes the app even more appealing to us and to our primary audience.” Along with the companies mentioned above, an additional five highly-respected publishing houses have teamed up with RRKidz:  Abrams Books, Kane Press, Sleeping Bear Press, Peachtree Publishersand Shenanigan Books. “This gives me the opportunity to continue to do what I’ve done for over 25 years — put technology to use in turning kids on to good books,” said LeVar Burton. “In the 1980’s, television was the obvious choice when it came to reaching an audience of children, but today’s kids are digital natives. Tablet computers are brilliant devices for the medium of storytelling.”   RRKidz RRKidz provides an enriching interactive platform for children to discover and explore exceptional digital media content that is both educational and entertaining. Headquartered in Los Angeles with an office in San Francisco, RRKidz holds global rights to the trusted Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator, WNED-TV, a premier PBS station, based in Buffalo, NY. The Reading Rainbow subscription app, designed to instill a lifelong love of reading, will be available via the iPad and select Android operating system devices. Like Reading Rainbow on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/readingrainbowand follow us on Twitter for news and announcements www.twitter.com/ReadingRainbow.

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