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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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!


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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #6 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Sept 6: The 6th way that bedside readers help hospitalized kids thrive through treatment, in addition to providing quality social interactions (see Sept 1 post), is by boosting children’s thinking and literacy skills. Reading is fundamental to cognitive health and thrivership for all kids, yet it is especially important for cancer warriors who are often missing significant school and literature-based instruction, have a type of cancer that directly impairs cognition, and/or are receiving types of treatment that have long-term cognitive impacts. ECBC’s expert bedside readers know how to model and scaffold good thinking while reading aloud, so that the reading session is not just a one-way interaction but a two-way dialogue with reader and listener together predicting, making text-based connections, and thinking deeply about the text.

To support ECBC’s bedside reading program, go to www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020 — donate $20 for one bedside reading book, or donate $600 for a full wagon of bedside reading books which are rotated monthly (30 books).