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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Thank You Arroyo 3rd Graders!

A BIG shout out to Arroyo Elementary 3rd graders for sending ECBC all these awesome hardcover books with proceeds from your Lemonade War! We appreciate the support so much. And we really needed all these graphic novels!! 

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THANK YOU, BOOK IT! 2018 PARTICIPANTS!

A HUGE thank you to our AWESOME community for joining us yesterday at ECBC’s inaugural charity run and book drive — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Nearly 500 racers (and nearly 600 people total including volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and supporters) came out to walk, run, fundraise, book-raise, and make our event an amazing success!  The amount of funds raised is not calculated yet, but we can say with certainty that we have a net profit that exceeds our expectations for this first year. The book drive component of the event was also super successful, with the online pre-event book drive resulting in over 75 hardcover book donations and over 45 Read+Think+Thrive book box donations, and the onsite book drive yielding hundreds more new books. What a great 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 with Scholastic, met authors and bought signed copies of books, warmed up and ran with CHOCO the bear, enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, participated in the book character costume contest, and raced their hearts out. It was so fun to see so many doing all this in their bright yellow “BOOK IT!” shirts sporting “Run Read Thrive” medals!

Thank you to Orange Coast College for providing us with a fantastic location for our event. Thank you to Barry Ackerman, Event Coordinator, who worked tirelessly on all aspects of the event and without whom BOOK IT! would not have been possible. My deepest thank you to our Title Sponsor, children’s author Alane Adams’ Rise Up Foundation, and to all of our sponsors and partners: Children’s Hospital of Orange County, MaxLove Project, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter, Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Public Library Foundation, T-shirt sponsor Paris Family Trust, Kids READ!, Pakua Martial Arts, Orange County Children’s Book Festival, Scholastic Books, Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway Realtor, Adriene Madden/Magic Tree House, Saddleback Educational Books, and PJ Library. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of our terrific event partners!

Also thank you to MC Rudy Novotny for providing such an energetic and positive vibe; Master David Clawson  for leading a super fun warm-up; Emily Frye for all your help with design and artwork; Sprouts for providing water and bananas; CR&R for providing trash containers; Kiwanis Club of Irvine for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast; Francie Rosen and Balloons Sound Great for the Entrance Arch; and Brighton Denes for stepping up to sing the National Anthem with no advance warning or time to practice — you are so brave Brighton! Thank you to children’s authors Alane Adams, Sheri Fink, Derek Taylor Kent, Dan Paley, Jennifer Grey Olson, and Suzi Schaffer for joining us with signed copies of your books for the on-site book drive, and thank you to Susie Alexander of Once Upon a Storybook for inviting authors and always supporting our cause and events. And special thanks to Caren Ware and Itz About Time for their expertise in race planning and timing equipment.

Also, this event would not have happened without the great volunteers who came out to help. Thank you to Girl Scout Troop #3115, members of the Irvine Valley College Circle-K, UC Irvine UNICEF Team, Tustin NCL, and Tustin Boys Community Service League. And thank you to friends Kate Dearstyne, Kathleen Marshack, Julie Schulman, and Erin Denes who showed up super early and stayed late  to clean up — your unsolicited help is so appreciated.

And finally, my deepest thank you to the many individuals and families who came out to help make the event such a success! Thank you for promoting on social media, recruiting more participants, and creating teams — a huge shout out to our largest teams: Team Arroyo Elementary School, Equalizers Track Club, Team Shir Ha Mallot, Match Point Tennis Academy, and Team Hewes Middle School. And thank you for sharing your pictures and stories after the event , which plays a powerful role in helping to expand our community of support. I’m so very grateful.

Several have asked if there is the option to do a virtual run if you missed the event. We aren’t offering that this year, but we plan to for next year’s event. You may still support this year’s BOOK IT! via the race registration site by donating a hardcover book or by sponsoring a Read+Think+Thrive Box for new cancer diagnoses at CHOC. Access the donation button at https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/CA/CostaMesa/RunReadThrive.

THANK YOU FOR “BOOKING IT” FOR READING FOR KIDS AT CHOC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. 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. And I hope that this inaugural charity run marks the beginning of an annual event that grows into a significant source of support for a sustainable library and reading program at CHOC. Thank you, AWESOME COMMUNITY, for being here with us from the beginning. See you back next year for BOOK IT! 2019!

To check out the BOOK IT! album of photos, click here
To check out a video of Ethan saying a few words, click here.
To check out the start of our race, click here.                                          


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Thank you Arroyo Ripple Kids!

A HUGE thank you to these kiddos for participating in Arroyo’s Ripple Kids Fair this week and for supporting Ethan & Choco’s Book Club. These three booths (with handmade clay charms, handmade succulent displays, and a fun spin the wheel for prize game) were all awesome. It’s so amazing to see kids taking action! Thank you! 


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Thank You Girl Scout Troop #3115 for Making a Difference!

A HUGE thank you to Girl Scout Troop #3115 for their hard work this past Sunday at the Girl Scouts Day of Service event at Foothill High School! The girls hosted a table to spread awareness about Ethan & Choco’s Book Club and ways that other troops can get involved, such as by fundraising for Read+Think+Thrive Boxes and participating in our charity run. They also designed awesome bookmarks with 10 phrases about reading (aligned with quotes on our silicon Book Bands that patients will receive), and younger girl scouts colored in about 250 — which will be laminated and included in our book boxes to kids newly diagnosed with cancer. They also started a “Team Girl Scouts” on the BOOK IT! registration page —
so other girl scouts can sign up and join their team! The goal of this service day was to mobilize girls to be “agents of change”, and this troop is certainly leading the way through their help with ECBC.IMG_3361IMG_3364

We are SO grateful for their ongoing commitment and partnership for the last couple of years! THANK YOU TROOP #3115!! 


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Thank you Tarbut V’Torah — ECBC needs more schools like you!

THANK YOU to Tarbut V’Torah’s Lower School for such an AMAZING student-led book drive! TVT collected 219 new books in just one week, and this school only has 253 students! Here’s Ethan’s video explaining what TVT did and thanking this awesome school. We need more schools like Tarbut to help us create a sustainable library at CHOC Children’s Hospital! 

Click here to view Ethan’s video thanking Tarbut.
Email to find out more about leading a school book drive or becoming a Thrive Partner school!


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Please help us collect a few more books for Ethan’s Halloween Book Drive!

Orange County – This is the LAST WEEK of Ethan’s Halloween book drive for ECBC’s Books for Treats event on Halloween at CHOC Children’s Hospital! If you haven’t donated yet, please consider donating a new Halloween book to help us get to our goal of 300 books so kids who are inpatient on Halloween can trick-or-treat for books! Ways to donate are (1) visit Once Upon a Storybook and purchase a book to add to our donation box at the store, (2) put a new book in ECBC’s large donation box by the front office at Arroyo Elementary School, and (3) visit our Halloween Book Drive wish list on Amazon at http://a.co/1o8eo3B to buy a book that is sent directly to ECBC. Thank you so much for your support! 


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Ethan’s Halloween Book Drive

Please help Ethan collect Halloween-themed books for kids are inpatient CHOC Children’s Hospital during Halloween! Every year CHOC holds an awesome trick-or-treating event for patients and siblings, and this year ECBC is hosting “Books for Treats” — our own booth where we will give away Halloween books! There are several ways you can help, including:

  •   Purchasing books off our Halloween Book Wish List on Amazon.com. Click here to access it.
  •   Visiting Once Upon a Storybook in Tustin, where you can purchase Halloween books to put in our donation basket at the store.
  • Bring books to Arroyo Elementary to put in ECBC’s book donation box.
  • Visit the Arroyo book fair and purchase/donate Halloween-themed books there.

Remember, all books must be brand new.  

Check out Ethan’s video to learn more. If you haven’t supported ECBC in a while, this is a great one to jump in on because it has special meaning to Ethan (see video) and it comes at the three year anniversary of his diagnosis.