“Reading Rainbow” star shares the power of storytelling.
By R. Eguia
Levar Burton will speak at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Watson Fine Arts Center at St. Philip’s College. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The lecture, titled “The Power of Storytelling: Written, Spoken, Lived,” is presented in part by the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and as a part of the St. Philip’s President’s Lecture Series.
Burton’s breakout role was as Kunta Kinte in the television miniseries “Roots.” He went on to play Geordi Laforge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and served as host and executive producer of the PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow.”
In 2011, Burton formed RRKIDZ with “the mission of bringing a passion for reading to every child, everywhere.”
According to readingrainbow.com, RRKIDZ offers its library of books, videos and games for the Web, iPad and Kindle Fire.
Burton recently launched the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, which raised $1 million in less than 11 hours and $6.4 million in total to complete RRKIDZ with supplemental learning available for teachers and students.
The President’s Lecture Series is presented once in the fall and once in the spring on St. Philip’s campus. Past lecturers include FUBU founder and Shark Tank cast member Daymond John; this city’s police Chief William P. McManus; and documentary filmmaker and writer, Roya Hakakian.
“We like for the topics in the lectures to link to what is going on in our communities,” said Beautrice M. Butler, director of enrollment for St. Philip’s College and a member of the series committee.
Typically, the committee provides recommendations to the president for review and approval, but this time was different.
“My co-chair, Nina McGrath, had an opportunity to have a phone interview with Levar and his team and mentioned PLS,” Butler said. “With a few conversations and approval from our president, we selected him to be our speaker.”
Groups of more than 50 people must RSVP to www.alamo.edu/spc/pls-rsvp/.