Why Osmo is partnering with LeVar Burton to spread the joy of reading
When BYJU’s senior vice president Cherian Thomas saw the promise of how Osmo’s Reading Adventure could help children with its revolutionary technology-based, personalized learn-to-read program, he knew he needed someone special to help tell the world about it: LeVar Burton.
“It needed to be someone authentic and who has the mass appeal to evangelize the product,” he said. “It was almost as if there was no discussion. All of the product designers today, they’re kids of the 1980s and 90s that grew up on this particular reading program and he’s called the father of the modern reading program.”
Thomas and the team knew Burton, someone who has spent the majority of his multi-decade career advocating for literacy and the love of reading, would be perfect. After all, with his work on Reading Rainbow and his advocacy through the years, he’s helped millions of parents of current Osmo users fall in love with reading.
But the idea of getting him to work with Osmo seemed like a longshot.
“We didn’t think we could get him, because his bar is so high. This is someone who has written books, someone who inspired decades of readers and fans. But we’re bold at Osmo,” Thomas said. “So we set up a meeting and crossed our fingers.”
Burton saw a demonstration of the Reading Adventure product in his first meeting with Osmo and was impressed with its voice recognition capabilities and how it taught the difficult parts of learning to read.
At the end of the meeting, Thomas put it bluntly.
“If this is something you’re passionate about,” he told the award-winning literacy advocate, actor and author, “let’s get something done. But if this isn’t it, we’ll find something in the future.”
It was a polite way to end the meeting but he meant it sincerely.
There was no hesitation. Burton was in and this week he was named Osmo from BYJU’s Chief Reading Officer.
“It is an honor and a privilege without any question that we are associated with a person like LeVar,” Thomas said. “And the relationship has already gone to the depths of impacting developing a better product with his input.”
In the coming months expect to see more from Burton and the Reading Adventure team as we take off on this adventure together.