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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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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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


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A Successful Morning at PCRF’s Reaching for the Cure!

We had so much fun at Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s Reaching for the Cure race this morning. What a terrific event for such an important cause. It was really amazing to see so many people at one event all supporting pediatric cancer– MANY running for family or friends or even themselves who are currently battling cancer, survived cancer, or are no longer here. Ethan did a great job managing the spin wheel and giving out books and prizes while also sharing the mission of ECBC and spreading the word about BOOK IT! #2 (which will be on September 8th, 2019). A big thanks to Barry Ackerman/KIDS READ! for helping with our booth and providing gently used books to hand out to kids!

Ethan and I enjoyed walking the 5K as well, and we were especially thrilled when we realized that the event’s AWESOMELY ENERGETIC MC Andrea Kooiman is who we just hired to MC at BOOK IT 2019!!!

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Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) delivery

Keeping these shelves stocked with books at CHOC Children’s Hospital OPI is fun!  These shelves were always empty for the 3.5 that Ethan received his outpatient chemo here! Nothing fancy and the easiest part of ECBC to keep going , but it’s just as rewarding as the other programs we do. Every time we return the shelves are empty — it’s good to know that at least a small part of kids’ visits might include some reading instead of screen time!!

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One Year Off Treatment

Friday was ECBC Co-Founder Ethan’s one year off treatment oncology visit and today marks the one year anniversary of his last day of chemo. Bloodwork and onc visits now get spread out a bit more as we start his second year off treatment, halfway through the two year window of the highest risk for relapse. Ethan is thriving— happy and healthy.

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ECBC’s New Year’s Update


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.  

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BRBR! Bedside Reading Brief Report

Two of ECBC’s expert bedside readers with the Read Aloud Wagons

We had such a fantastic afternoon at CHOC yesterday, bringing books and reading to patients in all sorts of ways! Our bedside reading team spent the afternoon on the 5th floor (oncology, neurology) — getting almost  100% “yes”s to their offers of a read aloud from our Read-Aloud Wagon. It was super fun to see one patient receive her fourth Book Band (there are 10 ECBC Book Bands that patients can receive and collect for each time they accept a book or a read aloud), and especially to be very proud to be wearing them all. Our bedside readers also gave away a bunch of books to infant through teenage patients in isolation. In addition, we did our monthly book delivery to the Outpatient Infusion Center (“OPI”), where Ethan received all of his outpatient chemo — re-stocking their shelves with approximately 80 books for patients and siblings to read and take home.

Finally, as of yesterday, we explicitly communicated with CHOC that we are now ready to systematically provide a Read+Think+Thrive Box for every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC. Prior to this, we have been providing our book boxes informally and sporadically as we hear about them through MaxLove Project and word of mouth. From here on forward, CHOC will reach out to ECBC as kids are diagnosed so that we can provide a book box that is curated by age and gender of the patient right after diagnosis — which, as we know personally, is a time when books and reading are not on the forefront of caregivers’ minds but if put right in front of them perhaps will be embraced and provide comfort. A few hours after committing to providing the boxes systemically, we received an email from Child life about a newly diagnosed kid — so we promptly got a box together for a 7-year-old girl and delivered it.

Ethan and I are super excited about the Read+Think+Thrive Box program, and we’re eager to work on ramping it up so that we can more seamlessly assemble and deliver boxes to kids at CHOC. That being said, we need ongoing funding to be able to continue to provide boxes as kids are diagnosed. If you would like to support, click here to learn more about our Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click on any of the links on that page to donate a book from one of our RTT box wish lists. or click here to fund a single RTT Box or an RTT Box monthly at $100/month (which would cover one new diagnosis each month). 

What a successful Thursday at CHOC!!

the RTT Box that yesterday went to a 7 year old just diagnosed with cancer.



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Ethan & Choco’s Book Club is a new student club at Foothill High School!

These awesome girls just started an Ethan & Choco’s Club at Foothill High School — the first of hopefully many school-based clubs to support ECBC and reading for hospitalized kids! The three of us met this afternoon, and the girls decided to focus their club’s efforts on building the teen part of our library — including the lending and gifting libraries, themed books for teens at various events such as our upcoming Books for Treats, and Read+Think+Thrive boxes that are curated specifically for teens. They also are excited to work on creating an Amazon Wish List of high-interest books specifically for teens — which we really need help with! How great would it be for them to draw from their own reading interests and experiences as well as the reading interests of their peers to create this list! There is a significant number of adolescents and young adults at CHOC, and it will be great to have some targeted support to build this important part of our library!
Foothill High’s Club Rush is coming up next week, and Riley and Aya will be promoting this club and recruiting new members. Please tell your teen if you think he/she might be interested in joining. Or suggest they they start their own ECBC Club at their own school! (Contact Ali Posner at if interested.)
THANK YOU RILEY and AYA for taking the initiative and hopefully creating a movement for high schools and teens to support reading for hospitalized teens! #FoothillKnights #ECBCatFoothillHigh #BetterTogether #ItTakesACommunity #ReadThinkThrive #HospitalizedKidsNeedBooksToo 

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Another successful afternoon at CHOC!

ECBC had a terrific afternoon yesterday at CHOC, with two of our programs going on at the same time and with such a good response. On the 5th floor (oncology/neurology), our bedside readers visited patient rooms with the Read-Aloud Wagon and read aloud with almost every available patient on the floor. We received so many more “YES”s to reading than we anticipated! And on the hospital lobby, ECBC gave away many books off our Gifting Library Cart to patients and siblings who came down for MaxLove’s Be Super Party (see photo — unfortunately we can’t share pics of patients). It has been a wonderful first four weeks since launching our program — so rewarding to see plans in action, to see books becoming part of patients hospital experience!