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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2nd Annual BOO-ks for Treats at CHOC was a Success!

Ethan & Choco’s Book Club had a FANTASTIC morning handing out Halloween-themed books to patients yesterday as part of CHOC’s annual trick-or-treating event! We gave away around 300 terrific books to dressed-up patients of all ages — from toddlers to teens and from board books to young adult literature. We also delivered another 100 Halloween books to kids visiting CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center for chemo. It was especially fun to be offering healthier treats!

Thank you to everyone for their generous donations for making this possible! Specific thank yous to come soon when Ethan does his book request and thank you video for the month of November — but for now a special shout out to Arroyo Elementary School, Tod and Sharon Paris, Diano Mordin for hosting Ciara and Carter’s Book Drive, and ALL of our amazing Amazon donors. We couldnt bring reading to kids in the hospital without the support of our awesome community!

 

 

 

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BRBR! Bedside Reading Brief Report

Two of ECBC’s expert bedside readers with the Read Aloud Wagons

We had such a fantastic afternoon at CHOC yesterday, bringing books and reading to patients in all sorts of ways! Our bedside reading team spent the afternoon on the 5th floor (oncology, neurology) — getting almost  100% “yes”s to their offers of a read aloud from our Read-Aloud Wagon. It was super fun to see one patient receive her fourth Book Band (there are 10 ECBC Book Bands that patients can receive and collect for each time they accept a book or a read aloud), and especially to be very proud to be wearing them all. Our bedside readers also gave away a bunch of books to infant through teenage patients in isolation. In addition, we did our monthly book delivery to the Outpatient Infusion Center (“OPI”), where Ethan received all of his outpatient chemo — re-stocking their shelves with approximately 80 books for patients and siblings to read and take home.

Finally, as of yesterday, we explicitly communicated with CHOC that we are now ready to systematically provide a Read+Think+Thrive Box for every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC. Prior to this, we have been providing our book boxes informally and sporadically as we hear about them through MaxLove Project and word of mouth. From here on forward, CHOC will reach out to ECBC as kids are diagnosed so that we can provide a book box that is curated by age and gender of the patient right after diagnosis — which, as we know personally, is a time when books and reading are not on the forefront of caregivers’ minds but if put right in front of them perhaps will be embraced and provide comfort. A few hours after committing to providing the boxes systemically, we received an email from Child life about a newly diagnosed kid — so we promptly got a box together for a 7-year-old girl and delivered it.

Ethan and I are super excited about the Read+Think+Thrive Box program, and we’re eager to work on ramping it up so that we can more seamlessly assemble and deliver boxes to kids at CHOC. That being said, we need ongoing funding to be able to continue to provide boxes as kids are diagnosed. If you would like to support, click here to learn more about our Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click on any of the links on that page to donate a book from one of our RTT box wish lists. or click here to fund a single RTT Box or an RTT Box monthly at $100/month (which would cover one new diagnosis each month). 

What a successful Thursday at CHOC!!

the RTT Box that yesterday went to a 7 year old just diagnosed with cancer.

 

 


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Ethan’s Ten Thrive Titles for July and August (& June/July Thank Yous)

In this video, Ethan thanks book donors in the months of June and July for their generous book donations. A huge thank you to Arroyo Elementary School 3rd graders, Mrs. Rojo’s 2nd grade class from St. Cecilia School, Girl Scout Troop #3980, Merrill Plozi, and Adriene Madden. As Ethan mentions in the video, book donations have slowed down lately, but we need donations now more than ever since we are giving away books regularly and frequently to patients in the hospital.

In part 2 of this video, Ethan shares his lists of Ten Thrive Titles (TTT) for July and August 2018 — which are his specially curated lists of books that are needed for his Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The lists shared here are the books needed for book boxes for middle school boys and for middle school girls. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on the links to our wish lists on Amazon. Please click here for the list for middle school boys and click here for the list for middle school girls). 

Thank you for helping ECBC reach our goal of providing a book box to every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC Children’s Hospital!

To learn more about ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click here!

*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

 

 


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Another successful afternoon at CHOC!

ECBC had a terrific afternoon yesterday at CHOC, with two of our programs going on at the same time and with such a good response. On the 5th floor (oncology/neurology), our bedside readers visited patient rooms with the Read-Aloud Wagon and read aloud with almost every available patient on the floor. We received so many more “YES”s to reading than we anticipated! And on the hospital lobby, ECBC gave away many books off our Gifting Library Cart to patients and siblings who came down for MaxLove’s Be Super Party (see photo — unfortunately we can’t share pics of patients). It has been a wonderful first four weeks since launching our program — so rewarding to see plans in action, to see books becoming part of patients hospital experience!


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Quick Report: Week 2 of Our New Inpatient Program

Just a quick update on week two of ECBC’s new inpatient bedside reading and mobile book cart program: Last week, we had a launching party in the playroom, where ECBC volunteers read aloud an interactive book about color mixing and guided patients to do some of their own color mixing in blank books and on blank puzzles. This week, we started our visits to patient rooms — where we asked patients if they were up for a read-aloud and possibly a related craft. Patients get visited by so many different people during the day, so often it can be difficult for an unknown volunteer to get a “yes” when asking to enter a patient’s room. We were SO thrilled that all but one patient/families said YES to a read-aloud! We read aloud with patients between the ages of 2 and 9, and volunteers’ reading resulted in patients putting down their ipads, getting engaged in a good story, making predictions and personal connections, and wanting more on a different day! One father of an oncology patient even said as an ECBC volunteer left the room: “Thank you so much, that was just what the doctor prescribed today”… which is actually a goal of ours, that someday “reading aloud” will be included in doctor recommendations as part of helping patients thrive during their hospital stays. #ECBC#Bedside Reading #ReadAloudEveryDay#HospitalizedKidsNeedBooksToo #ReadThinkThrive


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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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Ethan’s Ten Thrive Titles for April and May (& March / April Thank Yous)

In this video, Ethan thanks our most substantial donors in the months of March and April. We had so many wonderful donations during these months that it’s impossible to highlight just a few here, so please check out this video to hear Ethan’s thank you’s. Most notably, we are exceptionally grateful to author Alane Adams’ Rise Up Foundation for stepping up to be the Title Sponsor for our upcoming inaugural charity run. THANK YOU RISE UP FOR HELPING US TO ENSURE THAT WE BREAK EVEN AND IN FACT MAKE THIS EVENT A SUCCESS!!

In part 2 of this video, Ethan shares his lists of Ten Thrive Titles (TTT) for April and May 2018 — which are his specially curated lists of books that are needed for his Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The lists shared here are the books needed for book boxes for early elementary grade girls and for upper elementary grade boys. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on the links to our wish lists on Amazon (click here for the list for early elementary grade girls and click here for the list for upper elementary grade boys). Or, $100 can be donated via our BOOK IT! charity run registration site, which will fund an entire Read+Think+Thrive Box with art supplies for a child at CHOC.

Thank you for helping ECBC reach our goal of providing a book box to every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC Children’s Hospital!

To learn more about ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click here!

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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