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

ECBC’s New Year’s Update

Leave a comment


Helping Hospitalized Kids

Thrive with Books and Reading


This past year, Ethan & Choco’s Book Club (ECBC) continued to help hospitalized kids, especially those battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions, thrive through treatment with the help of books and reading. We are thrilled to share a few highlights from 2018 as well as our plans for 2019.

2018 Highlights: Last year ECBC…

  • Launched our inpatient Bedside Reading program, called “Reading Aloud in Every Room”, on the oncology and neurology floor at CHOC Children’s Hospital. An amazing team of trained, “expert reader” volunteers offer engaging read-alouds using high-quality literature to patients of all ages. Pilot data will be analyzed after the program has been running for a full year, but a preliminary look at the data shows a very positive patient response, with many more patients than expected  saying “yes” to reading and putting down their screens! 
  • Launched our inpatient Mobile Book Cart program, where volunteers transport a “library on wheels” to gift new, high-quality books to patients in isolation at CHOC.
  • Pulled off our inaugural community fundraising event — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids. BOOK IT! was a huge success, with almost 500 registered runners, over 500 new books collected, and enough money raised to fund a year’s worth of Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for new cancer diagnoses at CHOC.
  • Continued to host monthly Super Book Give-Aways in the hospital lobby alongside MaxLove Project’s Thrive Parties, giving away new books to patients and siblings of all ages.
  • Began delivering new books to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) to restock their shelves on a monthly basis. 
  • Hosted our 2nd annual BOO-KS for Treats on Halloween, giving away approximately 350 new Halloween-themed books to CHOC patients and siblings who were stuck in the hospital on Halloween. This year, we had Halloween books for teens and young adults, and it was especially fun to see so many teens trick-or-treating for books!
  • Continued to provide Read+Think+Thrive Boxes (mini-library of 10 new books and crafting supplies) to new cancer diagnoses at CHOC as well as occasional other boxes for new diagnoses outside of CHOC.
  • Officially incorporated as a California nonprofit corporation!

With your support in 2019, we plan to focus on these 5 goals:

  1. Expand our bedside reading program so that it moves from one day a week and one floor to multiple days a week and multiple floors, thus working towards our goal of offering reading aloud to every patient every day they are in the hospital (which would meet recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics of fifteen minutes per day of reading — a practice that hospitalized kids, especially those battling life-threatening illness and not in school, so very need.
  2. Expand our Mobile Book Cart program to more floors, and more significantly, add a Lending Library Cart to our current Gifting Library Cart so that patients can check out books and have more access to more titles and greater variety.
  3. Work with CHOC Children’s Hospital to systematically deliver a Read+Think+Thrive Box to every child at the hospital diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness, and raise enough funds to scale up this program beyond CHOC to another children’s hospital in California. Also, to begin online referral of book boxes to other kids diagnosed with cancer around the country. 
  4. Continue our book-give away events at CHOC, including our monthly Super Book Give-Away with MaxLove Project’s Thrive Parties and our annual BOO-KS for Treats on Halloween, and also continue to re-stock OPI’s shelves on a monthly basis.
  5. Host BOOK IT! 2019, hopefully increasing the number of participants running and the number of books donated. BOOK IT! #2 will be Sunday, September 8 2019, location to be determined. Please SAVE THE DATE!

We are so grateful to our community of supporters who helped ECBC this past year. A special thank you to our greatest donors and partners, including: Alane Adams and Rise Up Foundation, Barry Ackerman and Kids READ!, MaxLove Project, CHOC Children’s Hospital, Tod and Sharon Paris, Mary and Vaso Adzich, Orange Coast College, Once Upon a Storybook, Creston Books, Orange County Children’s Book Festival, Emily Frye, Arroyo Elementary School, Tarbut ‘V Torah Community Day School, Myford Elementary School, Pakua Martial Arts, Scholastic Books, National League of Young Men Tustin, Girl Scout Troop #3152, Hanna Calderone’s Bat Mitzvah Project, authors Sheri Fink and Derek Taylor Kent, authors Ganit and Adir Levy, Diana Mordin, Ashley Netsky, Dennis Dubrow, Rob and Brooke Lieberman, the Fourth Tuesday of the Month Book Club, and Adriene Madden/Magic Tree House.

Given our ongoing programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital and the significant number books we are giving away, we need to increase incoming funds and books, as well as create more partnerships with schools, corporations, publishers and philanthropic groups that can provide ongoing support. We’re currently giving away more books than we’re receiving, which we need to change in order to sustain the work we are doing! Please help us have a good start to 2019 by supporting ECBC in one of these ways:

  • Make a one-time or a recurring monetary donation to ECBC.  CLICK HERE to donate.
    • $20 funds a new hardcover book for the Lending Library
    • $50 funds five paperback books for the Gifting Library (or two hardcover books)
    • $100 funds a Read+Think+Thrive Box for a child newly diagnose with cancer
  • Purchase books from our Amazon Wish List to donate to our Lending and Gifting libraries — books will be sent directly to ECBC. CLICK HERE to access our list. Or,  CLICK HERE to access the wish lists to donate books for Read+Think+Thrive Boxes.

We can’t wait to continue to work on making books and reading a core part of the care that CHOC patients receive! Our ultimate goal is to help bring books and literature-based experiences to children’s hospitals around the country, so as we work to build our program at CHOC, we always have the dual goal of creating a model that can be applied elsewhere. THANK YOU for being part of our efforts!

A bit of recognition from CHOC

Sandy and Cindy, two of ECBC’s Bedside Reader volunteers, with our Read-Aloud Wagons

Charity run participants “booking it”!

BOO-KS for Treats at CHOC!








ECBC’s Gifting Library cart











Ethan & Choco’s Book Club is a public benefit, non-profit corporation, EIN83-2934289. 501c3 status pending.  

Leave a Reply