levar burton lifetime achievement award

Our face when we think of LeVar Burton

Since 1983, LeVar Burton has helped children discover the wonder and adventure of books with “Reading Rainbow.” For his 23 years of exceptional educational programming, Burton will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the first ever Children’s & Family Emmy Awards. And it couldn’t be more well deserved.

Levar Burton Television GIF Giphy

But you don’t have to take our word for it…


Over the course of his lengthy career, Burton has already received 22 awards for his work, including 12 Daytime Emmys, a Peabody, a Grammy and multiple NAACP Image Awards. Though of course some of that recognition goes to his performance in “Roots,” a majority of the attention goes to “Reading Rainbow,” which Burton not only starred in, but also produced.

Every episode began with the beloved and iconic theme song (“take a look, with a book, Reading Rainboooooooow”) and featured a different children’s picture book, often narrated by a celebrity, which was followed by a segment where a child would give their own book review. All before Burton would sign off with a friendly “I’ll see you next time.” It was a wholesome, heartwarming staple for bookworms for 23 years.

But when the show got canceled in 2006, that was not “Reading Rainbow”’s final chapter. Through his company RRKidz, Burton began a Kickstarter campaign called “Bring Reading Rainbow Back” in order to launch the show as a new app. The app promised to bring classrooms free access to a library of interactive books and video field trips. The campaign was a massive success, and the goal amount of $1 million was reached within only 24 hours, according to NPR, making it the most widely supported Kickstarter campaign ever.

A video of Burton’s beautiful, tearful reaction to the good news can be seen below. If there’s any doubt as to the genuine passion this man has for this project, this is a must-watch.

Despite the campaign's success, it did stir up some less than positive aftermath. WNED filed a lawsuit against Burton and RRKidz over contract and trademark violations. But still, the conflicts seem more or less resolved with some rebranding on Burton’s part. And no matter what, I think we can all agree that he will always be the heart and soul of the show.

It seems very fitting that a man who brought so much innovation to children’s programming will be receiving his award during a brand new ceremony. After all, Burton brought us many “firsts.” The Children and Family Emmy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Dec 11th, and Burton will be taking home his prize then.

Though Butron seemed surprised by the news (posting a simple “Whoa” to Twitter), he has touched so many lives that it seems like a no-brainer.

I just hope he has room left on his trophy shelf. As long as it doesn’t take the place of a book!

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

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Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

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A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

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