Educational Shows That Should Get Kickstarted

Last week, one of our Man Crush Monday honorees, LeVar Burton, launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring beloved program Reading Rainbow to classrooms for free and to more platforms than just iPads/tablets, helping kids learn to read and build a love for books. In about 10 hours, the initial goal of $2 million was reached, and almost $3.5 MILLION  has been donated since it launched less than a week ago – and it doesn’t even end until July 2nd.

When Veronica Mars made history last year by raising $2 million in about 10 hours as well, we thought shows like Gilmore Girls and Buffy would be prime candidates for a Kickstarter campaign. Now with Reading Rainbow making strides, I thought about the other educational shows from our childhood that could possibly make a comeback and return to help a whole other generation of kids too. Here are some of my picks, do you have any that you don’t see on the list?

Wishbone

{Ran from 1995 to 1998}

Kids love a talking animal, so when Jack Russell Terrier Wishbone is a sharp-talking pooch, it’s easy to forget that he’s retelling stories from classic literature. Wishbone takes on the role of the titular character in each story as he plays it out in his daydream, while his owner Joe faces some kind of similar situation IRL. If a crowdfunding campaign was launched for the show, maybe the show could just get a revamp and come back to TV. Is there even a show like this on right now? I’ve lost touch with my children’s programming.

Magic School Bus

{Ran from 1994 to 1997}

So this ‘Inside Ralphie’ episode is, for some reason, the most prominent one stuck in my head, even after all these years. Like, Ms. Frizzle just straight up took the class & their Magic School Bus into his body to figure out why he’s sick. Teacher of the year, y’all. Anyways, I feel like Magic School Bus would be a great app for kids, especially with an episode in this vein (pun intended), where it takes them on a journey into the body.

Bill Nye the Science Guy

{Ran from 1993 to 1998}

It depresses me that there are probably kids out there who only know Bill Nye from his time on Dancing with the Stars. Who do kids have to look up to in the media now if they want to be scientists? Bill Nye focused on a certain subject in science each episode, and if he successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign, he should bring his science show to schools all over the world, making it one of those interactive assemblies where the students get out of class but are really just going into another one.

Mr. Wizard’s World

{Ran from 1983 to 1990}

Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers this show? I feel like it was part of my morning TV programming, in addition to Saved by the Bell (gotta balance it out). Mr. Wizard’s real name was Don Herbert, and he invited kids to his ‘house’ to show them science experiments and it’s definitely not as creepy as it sounds. Apparently Don died in 2007, but if there’s a Mr. Wizard Jr. out there, a Kickstarter campaign would be a perfect way to maybe fund a web series – or perhaps just find a new Mr. Wizard.

Ghostwriter

{Ran from 1992 to 1995}

Confession: I pretended that Ghostwriter was real and used to write messages to him/her in my composition notebook. Alas, Ghostwriter never came.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a circle of friends who needed to solve mysteries that the real police couldn’t solve. The whole point of the show was to help kids improve their reading and writing skills, and how awesome would this be as an app? Let’s be real – I would totally download it for myself.*

Name Your Adventure

{Ran from 1992 to 1995}

If you watched TNBC on Saturday mornings like I did, you remember this show, which made kids’ dreams come true. I thought Name Your Adventure was like THE show to be on, since you could literally name your adventure, and it would come to fruition. Kids were able to meet the likes of President Bill Clinton, Tori Amos, and in the video above, the late Jonathan Brandis who starred in the show SeaQuest. The girl wanted to become a director or movie something or other, so host Mario Lopez took her to set and let her hang out. How cool is that? This series showed me that anything is possible and there are so many jobs and things to accomplish out in the world, so I can only imagine what this could provide for kids who only know the life inside their little bubbles. Again, with a crowdfunded campaign, a web series would be perfect for this, and maybe Mario Lopez would even come back to host it.

* HOLY CRAP GUYS – APPARENTLY GHOSTWRITER WAS INTENDED TO BE THE GHOST OF A RUNAWAY SLAVE FROM THE CIVIL WAR HELLO

 

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7 thoughts on “Educational Shows That Should Get Kickstarted

  1. A story: I was a camp counselor for six summers, and one year I had this amazing ginger child in my cabin who grabbed a hula hoop one day and ran around yelling “I’m Miss Frizzle, get on my magic school bus!” The next day my campers were supposed to share an “inspirational” quote with the camp but I rebelled and just had them each talk about their favorite Magic School Bus episodes.
    And Bill Nye is obviously everything, and I still know some books only because of Wishbone.
    I would support all of these kickstarters in a heartbeat.

    Like

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