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 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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Thank You BOOK IT! 2019 Book Drive Donors!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who brought, purchased, and donated books at our onsite book drive at ECBC’s BOOK IT! charity run! At one to 20 books a person, every book makes a difference! A special thank you to SCHOLASTIC for your super generous donation of a fantastic collection of books. Coupled with our online book drive, the book drive part of our fundraiser provides us with several months worth of books for our events and programs.

We are currently giving away approximately 400 new books per month to patients at CHOC between our various commitments, with the demand increasing as we continue to expand our programs. One of our next goals is to get to floors other than Oncology and Neurology! Our online BOOK IT fundraising/bookraising campaign will be running for another few weeks (until October 8th). If you haven’t yet had a chance to contribute, please consider clicking HERE to donate fund a new hardcover book ($20) or a book box for kids diagnosed with cancer ($100).

THANK YOU for helping ECBC help Orange County’s hospitalized kids thrive through treatment with high-quality books and read-alouds!


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THANK YOU, BOOK IT! 2019 PARTICIPANTS!

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.

TO DONATE ONLINE, CLICK HERE
TO CHECK OUT THE ALBUM OF RACE DAY PHOTOS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW RACE DAY RESULTS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW ETHAN’S OPENING WORDS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW RUNNERS BOOKING IT, CLICK HERE]


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Ethan’s June Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of June — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan asks for three areas of books that he has already asked for earlier this year — graphic novels, board books, and Spanish language books — because our supply of all three of these is always so low. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on these links to the wish lists on Amazon:

Click on image to view Ethan’s June Most Wanted Books Video

Thank you so much for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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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.


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Ethan’s May Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of May — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for poetry books. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking HERE to access the wish list on Amazon.

We also still REALLY NEED wordless picture books (April’s Most Wanted book type), books for teens and young adults (March’s Most Wanted book type), board books (February’s Most Wanted book type), and Spanish language books (January’s Most Wanted book type). You can access these wish list by clicking on these links:
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Wordless Picture Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Spanish Books
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Board Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Teen/Young Adult Books

*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List.

Thank you for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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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!


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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! 


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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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Ethan’s April Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of April — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for wordless picture books. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking HERE to access the wish list on Amazon.

We also still REALLY NEED books for teens and young adults (March’s Most Wanted book type), board books (February’s Most Wanted book type), and Spanish language books (January’s Most Wanted book type). You can access these wish list by clicking on these links:
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Spanish Books
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Board Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Teen/Young Adult Books

*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List.

Thank you for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!