LeVar Burton has been hired as host of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, giving the competition a celebrity headliner who’s also a longtime literacy advocate as Scripps takes over production of the bee telecast.
Burton, who played Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and was the longtime host of the children’s educational program “Reading Rainbow,” told The Associated Press ahead of Thursday’s announcement by Scripps that he said yes immediately when approached about the hosting role. Burton comes from a family of educators and said the bee represents “the inspirational, aspirational ideal of education.”
“I want to normalize the pursuit of knowledge in this culture. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?” Burton said. “Not just making stuff up and calling it a fact. Achievement through knowledge, scholarship, putting in the work to gain the reward.”
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