LeVar Burton to headline Educational Opportunity Center benefit

Educational Opportunity Center

News release from the Educational Opportunity Center:

LeVar Burton to Headline Educational Opportunity Center Benefit
April 17th event to support EOC?s mission to improve lives through educational support.

(March 7, 2013) – Actor, director and producer LeVar Burton, star of such renowned projects as Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Roots, will be the featured speaker for the Fort Wayne Educational Opportunity Center’s 35th anniversary fundraiser on Wednesday, April 17.

“LeVar Burton has translated his movie and television fame into a passion for making early education and reading fundamentals more accessible and more innovative than ever before,” said Dr. Willa Kline, Educational Opportunity Center executive director. “We are excited for the chance to hear about his work and to have his help in continuing our mission to promote lifelong learning.”

This year marks the EOC’s 35th anniversary of helping young people and adults better their lives through education. The center provides free educational, career, and college assistance to help clients attend the school of their choice for a degree, a GED, skills training or other pursuits. For younger students, the center provides after-school tutoring, summer academic programs, campus visits and SAT preparation among its many services.

Tickets for the April 17 event are $50 per person. The event will take place beginning at 6 p.m. at Ceruti’s Summit Park, 6601 Innovation Blvd. Tickets (full tables are available) can be purchased by calling (260) 745-5421 or in person at the Educational Opportunity Center, located at 3000 South Wayne Ave.

“I enjoy spreading the word about the indisputable importance of reading and early education, and lending my support to those who have the same passion,” Burton said. “The Educational Opportunity Center shares my passion for education, so I look forward to visiting Fort Wayne.”

Reading Rainbow’s contributions to education have been recognized far and wide, most recently through the launch of an iPad application that shot to number one among educational apps within 36 hours. The television program, originally aired on PBS, won numerous awards, including Emmys, NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award and a Television Critics Association Award.

This summer, Burton will reprise his role as Dean Paul Haley in the TNT series ‘Perception.’ He appeared in the series’ first season, which aired in the summer of 2012.

After rocketing to fame in the role of Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed mini-series Roots, Burton was cast Lt. Geordi La Forge in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He directed 26 episodes of the series and its successors, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise. He holds the record among Star Trek actor alums for directing the most Trek episodes.

He has also directed episodes of Reading Rainbow, Soul Food, JAG, Charmed and Las Vegas. His acting credits include featured performances in several other high profile TV movies like One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story, Dummy and Grambling’s White Tiger. Burton’s enduring appeal is evidenced by the fact that he is one of the most followed people in the world on Twitter, with over 1.7 million followers.


For more information on the Fort Wayne Educational Opportunity Center and for information on purchasing tickets for the April 17th event, www.eocfw.org.


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