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


Leave a comment

Thank you Troop #3244 for your amazing “Book Drive & Thrive Party”!

This week, Girl Scout Troop 3244 hosted an AWESOME support event to raise awareness and funds/supplies for ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Box program for kids who are diagnosed with cancer. This event, which the troop fully funded and organized, included:

  • A new book drive, with a children’s book off our book box wish list as the admission ticket
  • Stations to create items for our book boxes, such as bookmark decorating and box decorating
  • Stations that celebrate books and reading, including storytime, book inspired food crafting and treat, and a game station.
  • Guest speaker Ethan who was invited to share his story of founding ECBC
  • An ECBC patch for all Girl and Boy Scouts who attend

The girls also did a tremendous amount of preparation for their event, including formulating plans for the event and the activities at each station, making a book donation box, designing a flyer for advertising, making samples and signs decor for each station, distributing flyers to their community, designing and official patch for the event, various pre-event meetings to assign roles and cover all necessary. A tremendous group effort indeed!

The troop’s event resulted in the following donations:

  • 115+ new books from ECBC’s wish lists for our book boxes
  • $110 in donations for art supplies for the book boxes
  • 21 awesomely decorated book boxes
  • 35 laminated youth-made reading themed bookmarks
  • A girl scout/boy scout patch design for future scout events supporting ECBC, plus a donation of 50 patches to ECBC

What an absolutely terrific model this troop created for other girl scouts or philanthropic groups to use to support our book box program! THANK YOU to this terrific troop, and their amazing leader Jill Pang, for your hard work on this the las few months and for choosing ECBC for your Bronze Award project! We so appreciate you, and especially your creativity and inititiative in designing a new way to support our program — which helps our infant charity grow as an organization!

If your group is interested in hosting their own Book Drive & Thrive Party to support our Read+Think+Thrive Box program, please contact us at Ali@ECbookclub.com.


Leave a comment

Thank you to Foothill High School Ethan & Choco’s Club!

ECBC is so grateful for having received 22 new terrific books for teens for our gifting library program at CHOC from the Foothill Ehan & Choco Club! More importantly, thank you Taylor Kubaska and Aya McNamee for starting the club this year — this was our first high school club! Hopefully after you graduate, others will follow in your steps as co-presidents, as it is really awesome to receive support at the high school level and to receive book donations that target teens!

If there are other teens out there who are interested in supporting reading for hospitalized kids/teens and starting an Ethan & Choco’s Club at their high school, please email ECBC at Ali@ECbookclub.com.

Thank you Foothill Ethan & Choco Club for your awesome donation, and a huge thank you to Riley and Aya for taking the initiative to found this club!


Leave a comment

An Awesome Girl Scout Silver Award Project…and Successful Mini Book Box Packaging Day!

A HUGE thank you to 7th graders Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for choosing to support ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive (RTT) Box program for their Girl Scout Silver Award project!

Theses three girls, who are part of Girl Scout Troop #2908, fundraised, book-raised, and contributed many hours to be able to fund and assemble fifteen RTT Boxes for middle school-aged kids at CHOC Children’s Hospital who are diagnosed with cancer (10 girl boxes, 5 boy boxes). 

In the months leading up to their packaging day, the girls worked super hard. They set up their own online book drive to collect needed titles for middle school boxes. They made a promotional video, shared it on social media, linked it to their own Amazon wish list of books, and collected and kept track of book titles that were sent to them. They also fundraised and raised $900 to go towards purchasing books as well as the art supplies that go in each box. In addition, they (1)  beautifully decorated eight sides and flaps of each of 15 boxes with ECBC-themed quotes and artwork; (2) completed Thrive Buddy responses by creatively responding to a book in each box to help motivate box recipients to participate in Ethan’s Read+Think+Thrive Challenge; and (3) designed and made their own reading-themed laminated bookmarks to add in each box as gifts specifically from them. 

This week, after months of hard work (and surpassing the Mini Box Packaging Day requirement of providing funds/materials for at least 10 boxes), the girls gathered to pack the15 boxes they funded. In two hours, they assembled and taped the boxes; added bookplates to books with donor names; wrote personalized “Care Cards” with notes to recipients and packaged the cards in baggies with two ECBC Book Bands; assembled packets of ECBC promotional materials; and packed all 15 boxes with the variety of items they collected and created. Reading lights were added as well — Thanks to Max Stahl for funding these as part of his 8th grade community service project! After the two hours were done, 15 beautifully decorated boxes filled with high-quality books and a variety of other reading-related treats were ready to go! THANK YOU Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for your initiative, creativity, hard work, and commitment to this project —- we appreciate your support so much!

Click HERE to check out Ethan’s 20 second time-lapse video of 2/3 of the 2 hour box packaging session!

Time-lapse video of some the girls’ packaging sessions!

We’re excited to now have a great supply of middle school boxes ready to go! We need an equal number of boxes for all other age groups (infant/toddler, preschool, early elementary, upper elementary, high school). If there’s a youth or philanthropic group out there who’s interested in working on a mini-packaging day for your group (minimum requirement is to fundraise and/or book-raise to cover 10 boxes — about $1000), please get in touch by emailing Ali@ECbookclub.com! 


Leave a comment

Thank You Max!

A huge thank you to Max Stahl for choosing to support ECBC for his school’s 8th Grade Community Project! A middle schooler in El Segundo, Max has been working on collecting books and funds for ECBC in various ways. He set up a book drive at his old elementary school’s book fair, placed a collection box outside of his home to collect more books within his neighborhood, collected funds by running a GoFundMe campaign, and started his own book review blog with an associated wish list on Amazon so his blog readers could purchase books to donate. An impressively comprehensive effort for one eight grader!

In total, Max’s book-raising and fundraising resulted in 144 new, high-quality books for ECBC’s Lending Library, Gifting Library, and Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids newly diagnosed with cancer (with a focus on allocating his funds to purchasing books for book boxes for middle- and high-schoolers). Also, Max used some of the funds to purchase 100 reading lights, which will be added to older’ kids’ Read+Think+Thrive Boxes.

Even though Max has completed his school project, he plans to continue writing his book review blog and collecting book donations through that. ECBC supporters, this is a thoughtful, well-written blog by a smart avid teen reader…CLICK HERE to check it out, and CLICK HERE to access Max’s Wish List. All titles that Max reviews and asks for via his wish list would make for fantastic donations to ECBC’s library collections!

Thank you Max for your hard work, terrific contribution, and your plan to continue to support ECBC beyond school or any formal requirements!!


Leave a comment

Kids Helping Kids: Max’s Book Review Blog for Teens

Please check out my 8th grade nephew Max’s well-written and smart book review blog, called “Bookmarkers“!  Max has always loved to read and talk about books, and now he’s working on supporting ECBC with his blog and corresponding Amazon Wish List. Max reviews books for teens and young adults, which is a significant population of patients at CHOC yet the age group for which we have the fewest books! Please check out his blog, consider donating a book off his list, and even use this growing list for book ideas for your own teens!

Link to Max’s Bookmarkers blog: Click HERE
Link to Max’s Bookmarkers Wish List on Amazon: Click HERE

 

 


Leave a comment

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.                                          


Leave a comment

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! 


Leave a comment

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!! 


Leave a comment

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!