LeVar Burton speech at UCCS moved to April 27

Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, (719) 351-6519, thutton@uccs.edu Stephen Cucchiara, (719) 255-3540, scucchia@uccs.edu
LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former Star Trek actor and Emmy Award winning host of “Reading Rainbow,” LeVar Burton, will speak at 7 p.m. April 27 at the Gallogly Events Center on the campus of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Burton’s appearance was rescheduled from April 14 at his request, according to Stephen Cucchiara, assistant director, Student Activities. All tickets issued for the earlier event will be honored April 27. Those who purchased tickets on campus but who are unable to attend on the new date should visit the University Center front desk with the ticket and valid identification to receive a refund. Those who purchased tickets online should call TicketsWest, (800) 325-7328.

Those with additional questions should contact the Office of Student Activities, 255-3470, or osa@uccs.edu.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” Cucchiara said. “Mr. Burton has been invited to a White House event and had to delay his appearance at UCCS. We remain excited about bringing someone of his stature to our campus.”

During his presentation, Burton will discuss literacy in America and what colleges, universities and their students can do to truly improve literacy rates.

The event is the fifth part of the UCCS Significant Speakers Series offered by the Office of Student Activities and Residence Life and Housing. Last year, former Facebook executive and author Randi Zuckerberg filled the Gallogly Events Center. Scientists Neal deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye were the featured speakers in 2013 and 2012 respectively.

Burton, 58, became the host of PBS’s “Reading Rainbow,” a show aimed at teaching young children to read. During its run from 1983 – 2009, “Reading Rainbow” won five Emmy Awards.

From 1987 ­– 1994, Burton became a household name while playing blind chief engineer Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Following the cancelation of “The Next Generation” in 1994, Burton directed several film and TV projects, including the 1998 TV movie “The Tiger Woods Story,” the series “Soul Food,” the dramedy “Reach for Me” and the Star Trek spin-offs “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

In 2011, Burton announced his latest endeavor, RRKidz, a reading and exploration platform aimed at motivating kids to “experience literature via the digital devices they love,” offering hundreds of books through a subscription service. The following year saw the launch of a free Reading Rainbow app, designed specifically for the iPad and for children ages 3-9.

“Reading will never go out of style, but the tools used for learning are changing,” Burton said in a statement released at the time. “I am excited to bring Reading Rainbow back so that parents who watched the show can now share that same feel­good experience with their own children, but on platform that resonates with today’s digital kids.”

In 2013, RRKidz announced that 10 million books and video field trips had been utilized through the app.

For more information about RRKidz, visit www.readingrainbow.com.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 11,000 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu