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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HALLOWEEN BOOKS DELIVERED!

Today we dropped off BOO-ks for Treats bags for 200 patients (each bag filled with two Halloween-themed books curated by age and gender) to CHOC Children’s for their reverse trick-or-treating event on Friday (as well as for CHOC Mission Hills patients). These 400 books along with the 200 delivered last week to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and the Oncology clinic (see included picture of post from one of our outpatient recipients) amount to 600 Halloween books delivered! We pride ourselves on providing both high-quality and high-interest age-appropriate literature so hopefully all patients from toddlers through teens and young adults will include some reading in their Halloween celebrations this year!

THANK YOU to all of our book donors who made it possible for ECBC to provide literary treats for every patient at CHOC and help kids to read, think, and THRIVE through their hospital stay. Thank you also to our $500 level BOOK IT donors who each funded approximately 50 books of this donation. All donors were recognized with their names on respective bookplates in each book. Happy Halloween! #BOOks4Treats #reversetrickortreating #braincandy #readthinkthrive #cognitivehealth #ecbc #chocchildrens


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Getting Ready to Return to CHOC…

ECBC Bedside Reader “re-group & re-train” (group 1) in preparation for our return to our inpatient program at CHOC next week! I am so grateful for our group of educators, librarians, and reading specialists who provide high quality read-aloud for the hospitalized kids who need it most! We are super excited to be back at CHOC next week!


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Halloween Book Drive for CHOC Children’s Hospital!

It’s October 1st, which means it’s time to turn from our annual BOOK IT fundraiser to our 5th annual Halloween book drive — a difficult thing to do right on the heels of BOOK IT, but usually BOOK IT ends on race day in the first week of September, not on September 30. We need approximately 500-600 books for patients who are stuck in the hospital on Halloween, as well as for kids who are visiting CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and the Oncology clinic around that time. Please listen to Ethan’s video and consider donating a book if you didn’t get a chance to contribute to BOOK IT! Before Covid we received most our books for this from school book fairs and school book drives, which isn’t happening right now, so we could use all the support we can get to make this happen! Especially since we only made it to almost halfway of our fundraising goal for BOOK IT, your help with this is even more important. Patients LOVE getting high-quality Halloween themed books along with their usual candy and trinkets, so we absolutely LOVE being able to provide “literary candy” for the kids! All books purchased from this wish list will go directly to ECBC, and bookplates with donor names will go on every book. THANK YOU!

CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON WISH LIST LINK.


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Outpatient Book Delivery Day at CHOC!

Today was book re-stocking day at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and at the Oncology Clinic. We delivered 200 new books to be offered to oncology kiddos whenever they visit the hospital for a chemo infusion or for a check-up. We also delivered 19 of our Read+Think+Thrive Bags, which contain ten new books and art supplies and are delivered to all kids soon after they are diagnosed with cancer.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to donate to BOOK IT 2021, our annual fundraiser, please consider doing so now and helping us fund these book bags as well as other ECBC programs — runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021. 120-150 kids are diagnosed with cancer at CHOC per year, and we are hoping to continue to get book bags to every one! If you would prefer to donate a book, you can do so using this link to our BOOK IT 2021 Amazon Wish List: https://a.co/dgc3bwV. Thank you!


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120 Read Think Thrive Bags Packed and Ready To Go!

ECBC’s second Mega Read Think Thrive Bag Packaging Day! Today 120 book bags were packed by these awesome volunteers! A HUGE thank you to ECBC board members Sandy Tweedt, Susie Alexander, and Anne Case for planning and executing this day — It’s not a small feat, as these bags contain approximately $20K in high-quality books, art supplies, book lights, bookmarks, journals, blank books and blank comic books, a parent resource pamphlet with tips for supporting reading through treatment, and Ethan’s creative response thrive challenges —all curated by the gender and six age groups of the recipients. We can’t wait to get these bags into the hands of kids at CHOC as they are diagnosed with cancer —a toolbox of sorts to support cognitive health and thrivership through treatment (when cognitive health is often at risk due to lack of school and literature-based experiences, limited social interaction, less varied world experiences, and treatment methods and disease processes that directly affect cognition.).

THANK YOU amazing volunteers and totally awesome board of Directors, we couldn’t do any of this without yout! And a great big thank you to Erik Tweedt for sharing your warehouse space with EBCB for storage and packaging days — we are so grateful.

If you’d like to help fund these bags, as well as other ECBC book and reading programs at CHOC, please consider donating to our annual fundraiser at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021. Or, if you’d like to donate a book directly, you can purchase a book from our BOOOK IT2021 Amazon Wish List by clicking HERE.


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Please consider supporting ECBC in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

This photo popped up in my Facebook feed today — from September 1, 2015 — the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month six years ago and also the day that Ethan returned to school for 3rd grade after missing all of second grade. He had just finished the hardest part of his 3.5 year battle with Leukemia. While he still had a ways to go at this point with 2.5 more years of chemo, he was kicking cancer’s butt — loving school, playing tennis and golf, and reading voraciously into so many fictional and nonfictional worlds. This photo was also just a few months before we founded Ethan & Choco’s Book Club (ECBC), where Ethan and I committed to making sure that kids undergoing treatment at CHOC, especially life-altering illness such as cancer, received the same benefits from books and reading that he did while battling Leukemia. 

ECBC has come a long way since its inception — with numerous inpatient and outpatient reading programs for patients of all ages and gifting thousands of books a year. BUT we need your help in order to sustain our book gifting programs and re-launch our inpatient programs in October (we were just given the green light to bring our volunteers back to CHOC, woo hoo!). We are highly dependent on our annual fundraiser, BOOK IT, which provides the majority of the funds ECBC needs to run its programs. In the spirit of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month , please consider supporting thrivership for kid cancer warriors by donating to our online fundraiser.  We are aiming to raise enough funds to get us to next September 2022, when we are hoping to host a full BOOK IT with a return of our in-person charity runs and book drive.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Make a monetary donation online at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021
  • Become a “fundraiser”, with your own fundraiser name, monetary goal, and unique URL that can be used to send people directly to your fundraiser page. Click here to set up your fundraising page.
  • Donate a book directly. Click here to access the BOOK IT 2021 Amazon Wish List. All books purchased from this list will be automatically sent to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club.
  • Conduct your own book drive. If you wish to collect books on your own or conduct your own book drive with your family/friends/workplace for subsequent in-person donation, please email ali@ECbookclub.com We will send you a link to a separate wish list that you can share with your community and that let’s you specify the address to ship the books.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing the link to the donation site: http://www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021.

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


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PLEASE support BOOK IT 2021 with an online donation!

PLEASE HELP Support BOOK IT 2021!

We’re currently running our annual fundraising push — which is, again for a second year, online only. We so wish it could be through our in-person charity run and book drive, though that was not possible due to the ongoing uncertainty around potential Covid-19 restrictions at the time that event decisions had to be made. HOWEVER, ECBC NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER!  Our costs are way up, since outgoing book donations actually increased during Covid, while incoming book donations have been way down over the past year and a half. Additionally, ECBC just received the green light to resume our bedside reading and library programs on the inpatient side of CHOC on October 15th. Which is AWESOME news — but we need enough funds to sustain the new book gifting activities we are doing with CHOC outpatient as well as re-launch our programs that we were running pre-Covid. We are aiming to raise enough funds to get us to September 2022, when we are hoping to host a full BOOK IT with a return of our in-person charity runs, book drive, and celebration of thrivership against cancer through books and reading!

Here are five ways you can support the BOOK IT 2021 virtual fundraiser:

  1. Make a monetary donation online at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021
  2. Become a “fundraiser”, with your own fundraiser name, monetary goal, and unique URL that can be used to send people directly to your fundraiser page. Click here to set up your fundraising page.
  3. Donate a book directly. Click here to access the BOOK IT 2021 Amazon Wish List. All books purchased from this list will be automatically sent to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club.
  4. Conduct your own book drive. If you wish to collect books on your own or conduct your own book drive with your family/friends/workplace for subsequent in-person donation, please email ali@ECbookclub.com We will send you a link to a separate wish list that you can share with your community and that let’s you specify the address to ship the books. 
  5. Help us spread the word by sharing the link to the donation site: http://www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021

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


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Book Delivery Days Are the Best!

We just delivered new, high-quality books of all types to re-stock our library cart and bookshelves at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and CHOC’s Oncology Clinic, respectively. We also replenished CHOC Oncology’s inventory of our Read Think Thrive Bags for kids newly diagnosed with cancer, so that they can start their battle with cancer with the best materials that make it easier for parents to promote cognitive health and thrivership during treatment. It really is the best feeling to fill bookshelves with awesome, high-quality literature that many of these patients wouldn’t otherwise have access to! #readthinkthrive #cognitivehealth #thriveagainstcancer


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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM Ethan & Choco’s Book Club!

2020 was hard all around, including for tiny nonprofits like ECBC. When Covid hit in March, we had to stop all our inpatient volunteer-based reading activities, which are the backbone of ECBC programming and relatively low cost. We weren’t able to hold our in-person BOOK IT charity run, which is ECBC’s only formal fundraiser of the year. And, our ongoing large book donations have completely stopped due to the lack of onsite school book fairs and other in-person group events.  That being said, 2020 was an opportunity for ECBC to grow in other ways, including by: 

  • Forming our initial Board of Directors comprised of 8 amazing board members, and having our first two Board meetings in July and November. 
  • Filing taxes for the first time, with 2019 being our first year as an approved 501(c)3 public-benefit corporation.
  • Hosting a fully virtual BOOK IT fundraising campaign, which helped to expand our community of supporters and raised enough funds for ECBC to resume some of our covid-modified programs upon hospital approval. 
  • Converting our book box program to book bags per new infectious disease requirements (concerns about cardboard); having our first “mega bag packaging day” and finally having bulk inventory for delivery (thank you to local girl scouts), and as of September putting in place systematic delivery of Read Think Thrive Bags (which contain a mini library of 10 high-quality books curated by age and gender of the recipient) to every new oncology diagnosis at CHOC Children’s Hospital. 
  • Launching a new outpatient oncology book gifting program and library cart, which involves offering high-quality age-appropriate books to all kids entering CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center.  Per covid-based restrictions on the inpatient side, this shift to book gifting through outpatient has led to a new and terrific partnership with outpatient oncology staff.
  • Gifting significant numbers of wonderful holiday-themed books on Halloween and for the December holidays — to CHOC inpatients, outpatients, and patients and siblings living at Miracle Manor. 

Going forward in 2021, ECBC hopes to continue to promote hospitalized kids’ cognitive health and thrivership by: 

  1. Sustaining our ongoing outpatient gifting library cart and our Read Think Thrive Bags for new cancer diagnoses
  2. Expanding our outpatient book gifting to the CHOC oncology clinic, so that every child that visits the clinic will be also offered a book (not just those visiting the infusion center). 
  3. Formally launching Teens Thrive Reading Group, our new virtual book club for teen cancer patients and survivors that gifts Kindles and monthly e-books to participants. We will be recruiting participants from CHOC’s AYA (adolescent and young adult) group, and we will also work on online methods to recruit outside of CHOC teen cancer warriors who might be interested in participating. 
  4. Developing ways to provide parents with information and resources to help them optimally support their kids’ cognitive health and thrivership through treatment with books and reading. The hope is that this can include online methods as well as eventual in-person group sessions with parents during hospital stays. 
  5. Resuming and growing our inpatient reading programs as soon as our volunteers are allowed to enter the hospital again. Pre-covid, we were preparing to expand to more days per week, more patient floors, and our first bit of physical patient-use space to build a reading nook. As covid restrictions are lifted, we will be eager to return to growing our impact on kids’ thrivership during their hospital stays with rich literature-based reading programs.

A HUGE thank you to our amazing community for supporting ECBC during this especially difficult time — every monetary donation, book donation, and social media shout-out has mattered and we are deeply grateful. To start off 2021 with a monetary donation, please CLICK HERE. To donate a book off our wish list, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for helping ECBC help hospitalized kids to thrive with high-quality books and reading experiences!


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BOO-ks for Treats Delivered!

Today ECBC delivered 200 bags of Halloween “BOO-KS for Treats” (500 books) to CHOC Children’s Hospital for their reverse trick-or-treating event on Friday. We delivered another 100 books to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion for our library cart, so that kids coming in for infusions will also receive Halloween books. We will miss participating in CHOC’s usual trick-or-treating event but we are so happy to be able to contribute to CHOC’s Halloween celebration this year. A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated Halloween-themed books, and a huge thank you to Behr Paint for conducting a corporate book drive and donating about 115 of the books. And, a special thank you to the Antonius Family, Bill and Royce Bellaty, Enderle Center, Fenny’s Flowers, Peter Royston, and the Stahl Family for your BOOK IT2020 donations that were allocated specifically to funding Halloween books — your donations were used to purchase the remainder of the books that we needed for this event (all book-plated with you names on them). Finally, thank you to our awesome Board members and Programs Committee Mary Kay Viscounty, Sandy Tweedt, and Anne Case for your help in coordinating the Behr book drive and assembling all supplies!