This week, ECBC and Girl Scout Troop #3115 (a small troop of just six 5th graders in Orange, CA) had our first mini packaging day of Ethan’s Read + Think +Thrive (RTT) Boxes. RTT boxes are reading kits filled with ten new books curated by age and gender of child, as well as a toolbox of art supplies and an invitation for kids to participate in Ethan’s Read+Think+Thrive Challenge (a nudge to do a little thinking about a book in the box by responding with artwork or writing). These boxes will be gifted to kids in isolation at CHOC Hospital (since isolated patients won’t be able to borrow books from the Lending Library), and we also plan to send them to kids who are battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions in hospitals around the country.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, Troop #3115 teamed up with ECBC to work on their Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. When we met this troop, the RTT boxes were a recently conceived idea of Ethan’s and in the “it would be so cool if” phase, and we had sent out just one box to a Leukemia Warrior who had just received a bone marrow transplant in San Francisco. This troop liked the idea of the reading kits, and they wanted to help us start this program. They joined ECBC at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival last September and collected more than 100 new books from authors and publishers. They also made beautiful ornaments and beanies, which they sold at our holiday book drive at SOCO and the OC Mix in December. We purchased the art supplies with the proceeds of the girls’ sales, and together we had enough books and supplies to create 10 Read+Think+Thrive Boxes. We then wrote “RTT Box decorating guidelines”, and the girls did a beautiful job decorating the sides and top flaps of the ten boxes. And then the girls joined Ethan for a packaging day, where they stamped the 100 books and wrote in donor names, sorted and packed the boxes with the books and supplies, and completed a “Thrive Buddy” reading response activity to be included in each RTT Box and hopefully inspire recipients to do a response too.
We so appreciate this troop’s hard work, and we’re super excited to have our first ten awesome reading kits ready to be given to hospitalized kids who have limited access to books! We’re also excited that this troop has decided to keep working with ECBC over the next school year to build our RTT Box program and help get more girl scout troops and other youth groups involved. Thank you Troop #3115 for your hard work and commitment to ECBC! If your youth group is interested in getting involved and supporting ECBC, either as a single event or as an ongoing partnership, please email us at ECBC@maxloveproject.org.
Here are some more photos from Troop #3115’s RTT Box packaging day this week: