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Emmy and Peabody winner LeVar Burton is being granted a lifetime achievement award at the 1st Annual Children’s & Family Emmy Awards. The event will take place in December, 2022. The inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards is the first new addition to the Emmy Awards since 1979.

The lifetime achievement award will recognize Burton for his years hosting Reading Rainbow on PBS, a television show that helped instill a love of reading and literacy in millions of young viewers. His roles as Reading Rainbow‘s host and executive producer previously earned Burton 12 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.” I/n 2021 he also won ” the inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion for his work in literary advocacy and his commitment to inspiring new generations of readers and writers. Burton won the Inamori Ethics Prize in 2019 for his work as a literacy advocate. He first gained national attention in 1977, playing Kunta Kinte in the mini-series Roots, but his best-known role, without a doubt, is Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: the Next Generation, a role he reprised in four movies, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Picard, and video games.

LeVar Burton is a popular actor and an up-and-coming director, but that takes a distant second to his work as a literacy champion. For years on PBS and later on his podcast, he has worked to spread the joy of reading, and especially to convince children and adults that reading is neither nerdy nor uncool.

As a substitute teacher, I learned nothing quieted down a class of first-graders as quickly as the first few notes of the Reading Rainbow theme song. When I had children of my own, I introduced them to Reading Rainbow.

Burton said,”For me, books are more than words strung together. They are portals into existences of every variety, stripe and hue; the universe and all there is, captured in the pages of good books!” 

As a writer, an ex-teacher, and a mother, I’d like to say thank you, Mr. Burton. As a staff writer for SciFi.Radio, I and the rest of the SciFi.Radio staff would like to say congratulations on this well-deserved award. April 28, 2022 is National Superhero Day. More than a few parents, teachers, and librarians will be thinking of LeVar Burton on Thursday, April 28.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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