LeVar Burton, Auditorium Speaker at 2015 Midwinter Meeting
For Immediate Release
Conference Events Manager
American Library Association
CHICAGO -- Passionate and lifelong children’s literacy advocate, actor, producer, director and educator LeVar Burton will offer an unmissable treat for Midwinter Meeting attendees when he appears as an Auditorium Speaker from 10-11 a.m.on Sunday, Feb. 1. For three decades, Burton has been capturing the admiring attention of both audiences and his industry peers. He was host from 1983-2009 of the beloved original Reading Rainbow PBS series, is co-founder of the award-winning Reading Rainbow digital library and is currently developing the next generation of innovative children's educational media.
Burton has recently published his first children’s book, “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm,” a picture book written in partnership with poet Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher. He said he was inspired to write for children about “when bad things happen to good people – which happens often in life.” He has re-imagined Reading Rainbow through his company RRKidz and its award-winning mobile library; the all new Reading Rainbow App is the number one educational app on iTunes and delivers hundreds of quality books and video field trips.
Launching his acting career in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series “Roots,” Burton found himself on the cover of Time Magazine at the age of 19, and then his global acclaim grew with his role as Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series and feature films. He has been a keynote speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW) Edu, and has received the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children's Media from Tufts University, 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and 5 NAACP awards.
Burton’s appearance is sponsored by Reading Rainbow.