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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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #5 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Sept 5: The 5th way that ECBC helps kids thrive through treatment is by gifting Read Think Thrive (RTT) Bags not just to kids at CHOC when the are diagnosed with cancer (see Sept. 4th post), but also by gifting RTT Bags to kids outside of CHOC for whom a special bag request is made. For example, because ECBC receives a bag request from a family or friend for a recently diagnosed child at another hospital or because ECBC learns about a child relapsing and needing to undergo a transplant in which they will be stuck in the hospital for a long time. So, we’re spreading thrivership through the RTT Bags to some kids outside of CHOC, and hopefully with more funding we’ll be able to deliver book bags to more cancer warriors.

To fund a bag for a kid who as been diagnosed within the last three months and is not at CHOC, click here: #BOOKIT2020 #readthinkthrivebag #readthinkthrive #thriveagainstcancer #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #4 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

The 4th way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment is by providing kids at CHOC who are newly diagnosed with cancer a Read Think Thrive (RTT) Bag. The RTT Bag is a canvas tote bag filled with 10 high quality books curated by age and gender of the child, a “Read Think Thrive Challenge” with art supplies and blank literary-themed materials (i.e., blank books, blank comic books) to inspire recipients to respond creatively to the books, and various other ECBC/book themed items (e.g., bookmark, book light). The bag comes with a letter from Ethan that shares his experience with reading through his cancer treatment and encourages kids to make reading (and thinking/talking about books) part of their cancer journey. Ethan reminds the recipient that the tote bag that the supplies come in can be used in future hospital visits to always bring books with them to the hospital. The hope is that this Bag will help cancer warriors make books and reading part of their everyday tools that help them thrive through treatment.

To support ECBC’s Read Think Thrive Bag program, go to $30 funds the art supplies that come in the bag, and $125 sponsors one filled book bag with art supplies, books and other items. THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #3 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 3: One way ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment by…Providing Spanish-language books to patients as requested or needed — both through bedside reading as well as via the mobile gifting library cart. CHOC has a significant Spanish-speaking patient population, and ECBC is finding a demand for Spanish language books that is significantly greater than the collection of books we have. Please help us fill this gap!

To support ECBC’s supply of Spanish-language books for CHOC patients, go to — $20 provides a new hardcover Spanish-language book for bedside reading, and $50 provides five Spanish-language books for the mobile book cart! THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #2 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment by…

September 2: Through ECBC’s mobile gifting library cart, ECBC’s volunteers gift books to CHOC patients who are in isolation and not able to leave their room to enjoy other areas of the hospital (i.e., the radio station, movie theatre room, Family Resource Center). The cart has high-quality books for all kids from infants through teens and young adults that range in topic and genre to meet kids’ varying interests and reading levels.

To support ECBC’s mobile library cart for patients in isolation, CLICK HERE — $10 provides a new gifting library book, $50 provides five new books for the cart, and $5000 re-stocks the entire cart!

THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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It’s September! Please Support BOOK IT 2020 in Honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month!

Click on image to donate to BOOK IT!

If you haven’t yet supported ECBC’s BOOK IT 2020 Virtual Book Drive, please consider doing so now! ECBC was born out of Ethan’s experience at CHOC Children’s Hospital while battling Leukemia — where he noticed that books and reading were so grossly missing from patients’ lives at the hospital yet felt so deeply that they helped him to escape, connect, think, and thrive through treatment. Please help ECBC keep on going with its mission to bring books and reading to all hospitalized kids and especially oncology patients — we can’t do this without our community’s support!

While ECBC’s volunteer programs at CHOC have been on hold due to Covid, we are gearing up to launch Covid-modified programs that don’t require volunteers (with the awesome help of CHOC’s outpatient oncology nursing team). This includes delivering ECBC’s Read Think Thrive Book Bags to every cancer diagnosis (via the nurses, rather than our volunteers);establishing a mobile gifting library cart on the outpatient side to deliver a book to oncology patients whenever they visit OPI for an infusion or the oncology clinic; building a virtual book club for teen cancer warriors that includes giving them Kindles and monthly e-books; and gifting themed books to patients during the holidays (including Halloween, December holidays). To proceed with these plans, and also to sustain our regular programs once we are given the green light to bring our volunteers back, we desperately need to raise more funds!

The BOOK IT 2020 fundraising campaign was set to end Monday September 7th, which was the original date of the onsite BOOK IT 2020 run. Since we have raised only 1/3 of our goal and we are committed to our new covid-inspired plans with CHOC, we are extending the virtual campaign through the month of September. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, each day of September we will share one specific way that ECBC helps kids to thrive — in hopes that you will pick one way that resonates with you and help fund it! Please help if you can — ECBC needs it more than ever, and so do the kiddos stuck in the hospital (without the usual volunteers and diversions per covid rules!).

Here’s way #1 that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment:

Through our amazing inpatient bedside reading program, ECBC gets kids to put down their screen for 15-30 minutes in order to connect with a bedside reader who is 100% present, engaging , and eager to have a literature-inspired social interaction.

To support ECBC’s bedside reading program, please CLICK HERE — $20 provides a hardcover (easily cleanable) book for our Lending Library and bedside reading program.

THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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PLEASE Help! Last 3 weeks of BOOK IT 2020 Book Drive

We are in the final three weeks of ECBC’s BOOK IT2020 Virtual Book Drive, and we have currently raised only about 25% of the funds that we need to keep providing books and reading to patients at CHOC. Although we are unable to host our annual charity run, our local hospitalized kids still need high-quality books and reading experiences. In fact, they need these more than ever, with the usual CHOC volunteers, visitors, and entertainment completely suspended for safety reasons. We are working hard to fund our programs that don’t depend on volunteers entering the hospital — including book bags for kids newly diagnosed with cancer, virtual book club sponsorships for oncology teens that include a Kindle and a year’s worth of monthly e-books, books for cancer patients to receive at each visit to the Outpatient Infusion Center, and books for special deliveries during the holidays (e.g., Halloween, Christmas). While most of our usual programming has happened through inpatient/child life, we are so excited to now be partnering with CHOC’s outpatient nursing and oncology clinic staff to make these deliveries happen in a safe manner. CHOC has asked ECBC to resume these programs in September to help support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month — so we really need help with funding to make this happen!

Please donate if you can by: (1) making a monetary contribution at or (2) using this same link to “become a fundraiser” with your own BOOK IT donation page. If you can’t donate, please help us spread the word by sharing this post!

Read Think Thrive Bag, for kids newly diagnosed with cancer


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Storytime with Ethan and Choco: Empty Pot

Here’s today’s storytime to be aired at CHOC Children’s Seacrest Studios and broadcasted in patient rooms! A terrific story with a great lesson about honesty and perseverance.

To help ECBC go beyond our no-cost radio show to providing terrific books for hospitalized kids during covid, please CLICK HERE to donate to ECBC’s virtual book drive. to donate to ECBC’s virtual book drive.

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Please support the BOOK IT 2020 Virtual Book Drive!

Due to safety concerns and potential Covid-19 restrictions, ECBC will not be hosting our on-site events this year (neither the runs or the onsite book drive). We are, however, conducting the virtual book drive component of BOOK IT, which has been a success in the past two years and we hope will get a strong response this year. As ECBC’s annual fundraiser and only formal fundraising event, BOOK IT! provides the majority of the needed funds to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital.  Please help us to help kids keep on thriving through treatment!

To support BOOK IT 2020, you can:

Click below to view or share Ethan’s BOOK IT 2020 video plug:

SAVE THE DATE! September 6, 2021. BOOK IT! will return next year with our onsite walk/run events, community book drive, and costume contest. Please mark your calendars!

Thank you for helping Orange County’s hospitalized kids thrive thrive through treatment!

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Thank you ECBC Team!

It was so fun to celebrate a successful BOOK IT 2019 with this amazing team!  We went over BOOK IT summary numbers (net profit was $30,000, 13,000 more than BOOK IT 2018), reflected on positives and areas needing improvement, and  started our planning for BOOK IT 2020. And, we got to meet in the beautiful Fenny’s Flowers studio and make succulent pumpkins! Thank you Fenny for hosting! I am so grateful for this group’s commitment to ECBC and wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing at CHOC without them! Danielle and David Clawson, we missed you!

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A HUGE thank you to our AWESOME community for joining us last Sunday at Ethan & Choco’s Book Club’s (ECBC) 2nd annual charity run and book drive —BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Approximately 400 racers (and nearly 500 total including volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and supporters) came to walk, run, fundraise, book-raise, and make our event an amazing success! The amount of funds raised is still to be determined, but it is looking like we will have a net profit that exceeds our profit from BOOK IT 2018. The book drive component of the event was also super successful: the online pre-event book drive resulted in over 95 hardcover book donations and 132 Read+Think+Thrive book box donations for kids diagnosed with cancer, and the onsite book drive yielded hundreds more new books. What a great (and needed) boost to our Lending and Gifting libraries at CHOC! Beyond the funds and books raised, many made their mark on the Handprint Wall with their book recommendation for the CHOC library, jumped in the bounce house, used the photo booth, spun the big wheel and bought books from Scholastic, met authors and bought signed copies of books, donated purchased books at the ECBC booth, wrote Care Cards to go in oncology kids’ book boxes, had their faces painted and cartoon caricatures drawn, warmed up with CHOCO the CHOC bear mascot, enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, participated in the book character costume contest, and raced their hearts out on the beautiful Jeffrey Open Space Trail. It was so fun to see so many doing this in their bright orange “BOOK IT!” shirts and sporting “Run Read Thrive” medals!. Congratulations to top 5K finishers (male winner Timothy Lam, female winner Kaylah Tasser) and to our 10K winners (male – Sam Juliano, female –  Helena Madden), as well as to all age division winners. And congratulations to Costume Contest winners (the Peter Pan family, Elephant & Piggie, and the Harry Potter couple) and to everyone who added to our themed race by sporting literary costumes!

Thank you to Jeffrey Trail Middle School, Irvine Unified School District, and the city of Irvine for providing us with a fantastic location for our event.  Thank you to Caren Ware and Itz About Time for their expertise in course management and timing equipment. My deepest thank you to our Title Sponsor, KOI CBD for stepping up in the final weeks before race day to support our cause (click here to learn more), and a huge thank you to all of our sponsors: Paris Family Trust (T-Shirt Sponsor), Behr Paint (Medals Sponsor), Enderle Center (Handprint Wall Sponsor), Rise Up Foundation (Costume Contest Sponsor), 5 Boroughs Book Club (Double Book Box Sponsor), VOIT Real Estate (Double Book Box Sponsor), Sur West Homes (Book Box Sponsor) and AA Jewel Box, Cancer clothing, Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway Realtor, and Adriene Madden/Magic Maple Tree for your in-kind sponsorships. Thank you as well to all of our event partners: Children’s Hospital of Orange County, KidsREAD!, MaxLove Project, PaKua Martial Arts, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter, Orange County Children’s Book Festival, Orange County Public Library Foundation, Orange County Department of Education, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Creative Parties for Kids. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of our terrific sponsors and  partners!

Also thank you to MC Andrea Kooiman for providing such an energetic and positive vibe; Master Clawson for leading a super fun warm-up; Emily Frye for all your help with design and artwork; Zov’s for proving the waters; Smart & Final and Sprouts for providing bananas and oranges; Kiwanis Club of Irvine for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast; Francie Rosen and Balloons Sound Great for the 1K Fun Run Arch; and Abigail Tweedt for stepping up to sing the National Anthem. Thank you to Scholastic Books for providing terrific titles to sell for the onsite book drive as well as your significant donation of books. Thank you to children’s authors Sheri Fink, Mara James, Derek Taylor Kent, Adriene Madden, Jennifer Gray Olson, Dan Paley, and Suzi Shaffer for joining us with signed copies of your books for the book drive, and thank you to Susie Alexander / Once Upon a Storybook for inviting authors and being a vital part of our cause and events. Thank you to Barry Ackerman, Event Coordinator, who worked tirelessly on many aspects of the event and without whom BOOK IT! would not have been possible. And thank you to the rest of the BOOK IT 2019 planning team for your hard work in the weeks and months leading up to event day — especially Susie Alexander, Sandy Tweedt, Fenny Kokenge, Mary Kay Viscounty, Deb Kennard, David and Danielle Clawson, and Julie Schulman. It was our first year to have a planning team, and as such they helped to secure sponsors, authors, volunteers, and participants — thus expanding our reach in the community. Also, this event would not have happened without the great volunteers who came out to help on race day. Thank you to the Assistance League of Tustin, ECBC’s Bedside Readers, Girl Scout Troop #3115, Nicole Photoglou, Toby and Roger Kuo, Denes family, and Tyler Yang. This event is a big undertaking for our tiny organization, and it truly does take a community to pull it off. You are all so appreciated. 

And finally, thank you to the many individuals and families who came out to help make the event such a success! A special thank you to the awesome 36 participants who signed up for the 10K, which was a new event this year that we hope provides a starting place for growth in future BOOK ITs! Thank you to the many participants (many whom we don’t know) who promoted on social media, recruited more participants  (the “shares” directly resulted in registrations) and called teams together. A huge shout out to our largest teams: Hewes Middle School, Equalizers, Sherwin-Williams/IREM OC, MatchPoint Tennis Academy, Foothill High School, and Arroyo Elementary School.

I sincerely hope that our community views ECBC’s cause as their cause too, benefiting the kids of Orange County who end up in the hospital. With two years of our charity run under our belt, we hope to continue to grow our annual event so that it continues to support our growing reading programs at CHOC, and hopefully someday a sustainable library there as well. THANK YOU FOR “BOOKING IT” FOR READING FOR KIDS AT CHOC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL! See you back next year for BOOK IT! 2020!

** If you couldn’t make it on race day but would still like to contribute to our annual fundraiser — either because you want to support BOOK IT! directly or as a way to honor childhood cancer awareness month, it’s not too late! The online book drive/fundraising campaign will be running for a month after the event, until October 8, 2019.