LeVar Burton, the Emmy-winning actor and long-time host/producer of the PBS show Reading Rainbow, will be the featured speaker at Illinois State University on Nov. 14, marking the College of Education’s annual celebration of American Education Week, held this year from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19.
Burton, who inspired generations of young readers to “take a look, it’s in a book” with Reading Rainbow, i s also known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the famed TV mini-series Roots and as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He will kick off American Education Week events with a presentation titled, “The Power of the Written and Spoken Word” at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 in Braden Auditorium. The evening is free and open to the public.
An enthusiast and literacy advocate for children for nearly 25 years, Burton said he sees himself as a storyteller, who is “in love with the visual medium.” He penned the science fiction novel Aftermath in 1997 and co-authored several titles, including Jazz: The History of America’s Music with Ken Burns and Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Folktales with Nelson Mandela as well as having many Reading Rainbow books, audio recordings and video recording titles to his credit.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, education students will flood the Brown Ballroom of Bone Student Center for Teaching in the 21st Century: A Conference on Using Technology to Enhance Classroom Instruction, known as T21Con.
The event, which is open to education majors from across campus, will feature hands-on tutorials and demonstrations of new technologies that they may integrate into the classroom to enhance learning. T21Con is sponsored Techzone and by Students Using and Integrating Technology in Education, a cross-campus student organization focusing on current and emerging applications of technology in education. The event is made possible by a gift from Mary F. and Robert J. English.
For additional information about American Education Week, contact the College of Education at (309) 438-5415 or education@IllinoisState.edu .