Ethan & Choco's Book Club

Striving to make access to books and reading a core part of the care that SuperKids receive in the hospital, with the principal premise that literacy support for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions can help promote cognitive development and social connections that are part of thriving through treatment and beyond


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It has been a Full Year of Bedside Reading at CHOC Children’s!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of ECBC”s bedside reading and mobile book cart program at CHOC Children’s Hospital! Before we launched our inpatient program on May 24, 2018, it was rare to see a book or reading happening on a patient floor. Now, patients are regularly being read high-quality literature, and patients in isolation, who are not able to access available books in the hospital lobby, are able to choose books to keep from our mobile book cart. While the year 1 data have not yet been analyzed, our bedside reader volunteers report that, generally speaking, the patients are giving more “yes”s to reading than “no'”s, they are engaged during read-alouds, and they are asking volunteers to stay longer and read more. Which is so much better than we expected when we launched this program (especially knowing that reading can be a hard sell against technology). We can’t wait to formally analyze data from our first year and share the results!

A huge thank you to the most awesome bedside reading team I can imagine. We have an awesome group of current and former educators, librarians, school psychologists, and reading specialists — and they are a large reason why we are getting such a terrific response from the children! I’m so grateful for this team!

As we head into year 2, we will be working on growing this program so that we can offer reading aloud to patients on more hospital floors and more days of the week, with the ultimate goal to be able to offer every available patient a read aloud every day of the week (which is consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of at least 15 minutes a day of reading). We will be looking to recruit new volunteers, particularly those with prior experience in education/literacy — please email at Ali@ECbookclub.com if you are interested in learning more about becoming a bedside reader.


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Ethan’s May Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of May — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for poetry books. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking HERE to access the wish list on Amazon.

We also still REALLY NEED wordless picture books (April’s Most Wanted book type), books for teens and young adults (March’s Most Wanted book type), board books (February’s Most Wanted book type), and Spanish language books (January’s Most Wanted book type). You can access these wish list by clicking on these links:
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Wordless Picture Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Spanish Books
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Board Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Teen/Young Adult Books

*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List.

Thank you for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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Thank you to Foothill High School Ethan & Choco’s Club!

ECBC is so grateful for having received 22 new terrific books for teens for our gifting library program at CHOC from the Foothill Ehan & Choco Club! More importantly, thank you Taylor Kubaska and Aya McNamee for starting the club this year — this was our first high school club! Hopefully after you graduate, others will follow in your steps as co-presidents, as it is really awesome to receive support at the high school level and to receive book donations that target teens!

If there are other teens out there who are interested in supporting reading for hospitalized kids/teens and starting an Ethan & Choco’s Club at their high school, please email ECBC at Ali@ECbookclub.com.

Thank you Foothill Ethan & Choco Club for your awesome donation, and a huge thank you to Riley and Aya for taking the initiative to found this club!


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An Awesome Girl Scout Silver Award Project…and Successful Mini Book Box Packaging Day!

A HUGE thank you to 7th graders Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for choosing to support ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive (RTT) Box program for their Girl Scout Silver Award project!

Theses three girls, who are part of Girl Scout Troop #2908, fundraised, book-raised, and contributed many hours to be able to fund and assemble fifteen RTT Boxes for middle school-aged kids at CHOC Children’s Hospital who are diagnosed with cancer (10 girl boxes, 5 boy boxes). 

In the months leading up to their packaging day, the girls worked super hard. They set up their own online book drive to collect needed titles for middle school boxes. They made a promotional video, shared it on social media, linked it to their own Amazon wish list of books, and collected and kept track of book titles that were sent to them. They also fundraised and raised $900 to go towards purchasing books as well as the art supplies that go in each box. In addition, they (1)  beautifully decorated eight sides and flaps of each of 15 boxes with ECBC-themed quotes and artwork; (2) completed Thrive Buddy responses by creatively responding to a book in each box to help motivate box recipients to participate in Ethan’s Read+Think+Thrive Challenge; and (3) designed and made their own reading-themed laminated bookmarks to add in each box as gifts specifically from them. 

This week, after months of hard work (and surpassing the Mini Box Packaging Day requirement of providing funds/materials for at least 10 boxes), the girls gathered to pack the15 boxes they funded. In two hours, they assembled and taped the boxes; added bookplates to books with donor names; wrote personalized “Care Cards” with notes to recipients and packaged the cards in baggies with two ECBC Book Bands; assembled packets of ECBC promotional materials; and packed all 15 boxes with the variety of items they collected and created. Reading lights were added as well — Thanks to Max Stahl for funding these as part of his 8th grade community service project! After the two hours were done, 15 beautifully decorated boxes filled with high-quality books and a variety of other reading-related treats were ready to go! THANK YOU Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for your initiative, creativity, hard work, and commitment to this project —- we appreciate your support so much!

Click HERE to check out Ethan’s 20 second time-lapse video of 2/3 of the 2 hour box packaging session!

Time-lapse video of some the girls’ packaging sessions!

We’re excited to now have a great supply of middle school boxes ready to go! We need an equal number of boxes for all other age groups (infant/toddler, preschool, early elementary, upper elementary, high school). If there’s a youth or philanthropic group out there who’s interested in working on a mini-packaging day for your group (minimum requirement is to fundraise and/or book-raise to cover 10 boxes — about $1000), please get in touch by emailing Ali@ECbookclub.com! 


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Girl Scout Troop #3115 Engages in Some Fantastic Awareness Raising for ECBC!

Last Sunday, Girl Scout Troop #3115 participated in the 2019 Girl Scout Day of Service at Foothill High School. With more than 600 Girl Scouts and 200 adults in attendance, the girls spent the afternoon sharing with others ECBC’s cause and ways they can help support. They focused on our book box program (“Read+Think+Thrive Boxes) for kids newly diagnosed with cancer, as they have been focused on helping ECBC build this specific program for over three years. Using terrific visuals that they made, the girls shared information about what a book box is; how other youth can become a “Thrive Buddy” by responding to a creative reading prompt that gets included in a box, and how ECBC’s “Book Band” reading incentive program works at the hospital. They also came up with the idea to package ECBC’s Book Bands for the book boxes into baggies with personalized “Care Cards” — and they made this an activity for other scouts to participate in while visiting their booth. Finally, they distributed flyers about two upcoming events — our second annual BOOK IT! on September 8th (click here to register) and Girl Scout Troop #3244’s Book Drive and Thrive Party on June 8th (click here to learn more and register).

We are so grateful to Troop #3115’s longstanding commitment to ECBC — these girls (and their troop leaders) have been truly awesome partners!


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Ethan’s April Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of April — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for wordless picture books. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking HERE to access the wish list on Amazon.

We also still REALLY NEED books for teens and young adults (March’s Most Wanted book type), board books (February’s Most Wanted book type), and Spanish language books (January’s Most Wanted book type). You can access these wish list by clicking on these links:
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Spanish Books
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Board Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Teen/Young Adult Books

*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List.

Thank you for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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Thank you Anna!

A HUGE thank you to Anna Joelson for collecting all these amazing books as part of your 7th birthday celebration! So many great titles — from board books and beginning readers to picture books and chapter books — that will contribute to both our Gifting and Lending Libraries! Thank you for sharing some of your birthday love with ECBC. We appreciate your support so very much!


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Thank You Max!

A huge thank you to Max Stahl for choosing to support ECBC for his school’s 8th Grade Community Project! A middle schooler in El Segundo, Max has been working on collecting books and funds for ECBC in various ways. He set up a book drive at his old elementary school’s book fair, placed a collection box outside of his home to collect more books within his neighborhood, collected funds by running a GoFundMe campaign, and started his own book review blog with an associated wish list on Amazon so his blog readers could purchase books to donate. An impressively comprehensive effort for one eight grader!

In total, Max’s book-raising and fundraising resulted in 144 new, high-quality books for ECBC’s Lending Library, Gifting Library, and Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids newly diagnosed with cancer (with a focus on allocating his funds to purchasing books for book boxes for middle- and high-schoolers). Also, Max used some of the funds to purchase 100 reading lights, which will be added to older’ kids’ Read+Think+Thrive Boxes.

Even though Max has completed his school project, he plans to continue writing his book review blog and collecting book donations through that. ECBC supporters, this is a thoughtful, well-written blog by a smart avid teen reader…CLICK HERE to check it out, and CLICK HERE to access Max’s Wish List. All titles that Max reviews and asks for via his wish list would make for fantastic donations to ECBC’s library collections!

Thank you Max for your hard work, terrific contribution, and your plan to continue to support ECBC beyond school or any formal requirements!!


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Thank You to Two Tustin Elementary Schools

A huge thank you to Loma Vista Elementary School and Myford Elementary School for the your awesome book donations last week. Both schools conducted school-wide book drives alongside existing book purchasing programs. Organized by Loma Vista parent Beth Feher, Loma Vista conducted a book drive at their school’s Scholastic Book Fair and as part of their Read Across America celebrations. With the amazing help of first grader Jayden Salazar, Loma Vista collected and donated 260 new books to ECBC — returning our book donation box completely full! (not a small accomplishment –the box is huge!).

And, spearheaded by kindergarten teacher Danielle Clawson, Myford collected book donations via students’ Scholastic Book Club orders, where parents were given the opportunity to purchase additional books to donate to ECBC as part of their child’s book order. Thank you Danielle and Myford for the 80 books that you donated as a result of this book drive, and also for your ongoing support of ECBC through Scholastic Book Club orders.

School book drives are the largest source of ECBC’s gifting library. Since 100% of our gifting library books are given away (to kids in isolation at CHOC, at hospital book-give away events, in book boxes for new cancer diagnoses), ECBC depends on the support of local schools to sustain our gifting book programs. If your school is interested in collecting new books for ECBC, please contact us at ali@ECbookclub.com

THANK YOU LOMA VISTA ELEMENTARY AND MYFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!


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Triple Play Thursday!

ECBC had a fun and productive Thursday this week, getting books and reading to three different areas of CHOC! ECBC teamed up with MaxLove Project’s BeSuper Party for our monthly Super Book Give-Away in the hospital lobby, where we gave away books to patients and siblings of all ages. Next, we delivered books to the Outpatient Infusion Center, re-stocking their shelves with 150 new books. Finally, ECBC’s expert Bedside Readers read aloud to the Oncology and Neurology and patients on the 5th floor while also giving away books to patients in isolation using our mobile book cart. So fun to reach so many patients at CHOC today!