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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Introducing Ethan’s Digital Read-Alouds for CHOC patients

Hi Ethan & Choco’s Book Club friends and supporters! Just a quick update from ECBC… CHOC halted all of our programs about two weeks ago due to the Coronavirus outbreak, since our programs all depend on our volunteers visiting the hospital. So, Ethan decided to create a read-aloud show (pre-recorded from home) where he shares his favorite children’s literature — to be broadcasted in patient rooms by Seacrest Studios (CHOC’s radio station). This way, ECBC can still bring high-quality read-aloud to hospitalized kids, and kids can still receive regular read-alouds that help them to escape, think, and thrive through treatment! Today, Seacrest Studios aired the first show! ECBC supporters, please share with your own kids if they are interested in listening to a good story! #StorytimeWithEthanandChoco #VisitorForBear #ECBC #ReadThinkThrive #ThriveAgainstCancer #StayStrongAndReadOn


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Thriving with Books and Reading in 2020

Happy New Year from ECBC! Slowly but surely, we are adding rich literature and read aloud experiences to the landscape of children’s lives at CHOC Children’s Hospital. With the support of our community in 2020, we plan to:

  1. Expand our Bedside Reading program so that it grows from two days a week and one floor  to three or four days a week and multiple floors, This would bring us a step closer towards our goal of offering high-quality read-aloud experiences to every patient every day they are in the hospital (which would meet the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics of fifteen minutes per day of reading — a practice that hospitalized kids, especially those battling life-threatening illness and not in school, so very need).
  2. Maintain our Mobile Book Cart program that provides new books to patients in isolation, also expanding to more days and more floors so that more patients have access to books. 
  3. Improve the Read+Think+Thrive Book Bag (from “box”) program so that (a) items are gifted in canvas bags rather than cardboard boxes (more functional, more sanitary); (b) book bags are more systemically reaching all new cancer diagnoses at CHOC; and (c) book bags reach more oncology patients beyond CHOC, such as at another children’s hospital in California or by online referral for kids diagnosed with cancer around the country. 
  4. Continue our book give-away events at CHOC, including our monthly Super Book Give Aways in the hospital lobby with MaxLove Project and our monthly deliveries to the Outpatient Infusion Center, as well as our special book gifting events including BOO-KS for Treats on Halloween and books and story time for CHOC patients living at Miracles for Kids’ Miracle Manor
  5. Launch Teens Thrive Reading Group, a new virtual book club for teens battling cancer, where teen patients read a featured book of the month and participate in an online book chat.  Teens will receive an “entry book” in the hospital, and thereafter participating members will receive Kindle e-readers and monthly e-books. The goal is to build the program at CHOC and then expand to include teen oncology patients throughout the U.S. 
  6. Develop additional ways to further enrich patients’ lives at CHOC through books and reading. Additional plans for 2020 include creating a Book Nook in the oncology playroom with access to high-quality books, volunteer-led story times and book-inspired crafting activities; hosting mini workshop sessions for CHOC parents with tips on reading aloud with their kids through treatment; and producing a radio show at CHOC’s Seacrest studios with read-alouds and literary-themed contests that are broadcasted in patient rooms.

The overall goal that underlies all that ECBC does is to help hospitalized kids thrive through treatment with high-quality books and literature-rich experiences. THANK YOU to our AWESOME community for being a vital part of our efforts! To support the needs of ECBC’s growing programs and help ECBC get off to a good start in 2020, you can:

  • Make a one-time or recurring monetary donation to ECBC. Click HERE
  • Purchase books from one of our wish lists on Amazon. Click HERE.
  • Plan to participate in BOOK IT 2020 on September 7, 2020 in Irvine — either as a walker/runner or as a sponsor. Please contact Fenny (fennykokenge@me.com) to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. 
  • Support ECBC while shopping on Amazon! Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select Ethan & Choco’s Book Club as the benefiting charity, or use this link which is already set up to support ECBC: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/83-2934289


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Thank You TVT!

A GIGANTIC thank you to Tarbut V’ Torah’s Lower School for their amazing donation of 310 awesome books, which they collected during their recent Scholastic Book Fair. This is TVT’s 4th consecutive year holding a book drive for ECBC, and this donation is the largest number of books we have received from a school to date! THANK YOU TVT for your ongoing commitment to ECBC and reading for kids at CHOCk Children’s Hospital; we appreciate your support so very much. A special thank you to TVT kindergartener and Leukemia warrior Liam for helping to deliver the books! What a terrific way to start off 2020!

Ethan & Liam making sure kids at CHOC have books to THRIVE AGAINST CANCER like they have! (click image for brief clip)


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Ethan’s long overdue thank you to ECBC donors!

ECBC donors, we are SO long overdue with Ethan’s thank you videos…Here it finally is, to cover the last few months. Thank you so much to all of our book and monetary donors — without you, we wouldn’t be able to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital. If you would like to make a year-end gift to ECBC, you still have TWO days to do so…please CLICK HERE for the link to donate online. Please email me for a donation receipt, if you would like one — ali@ECbookclub.com. THANK YOU!

Click on image for Ethan’s thank you video!


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ECBC at Miracle Manor

Ethan & Choco’s Book Club was SO very honored to be part of Miracles for Kids’ holiday party for CHOC patients and families living at Miracle Manor (a home subsidized by Miracles For Kids for 12 low-income CHOC families with critically ill children). With the generous and expedient donations of our community, we were able to deliver sets of books for all 25 patients and siblings living at Miracle Manor, all curated by the age, gender, and interests of each child — and books were passed out to each child by “Santa”, a 17-year old Leukemia patient himself. Additionally, one of ECBC’s awesome bedside reader volunteers, Fenny, provided an engaging holiday-themed storytime for the kids. We loved adding books and reading to these families’ holiday festivities (and how amazing that during the festivities, Miracles for Kids volunteers were busy decorating each of the family’s apartments for Christmas!). THANK YOU Miracles for Kids for letting Ethan & Choco’s Book Club participate in this magical event, thank you Fenny for making time to be there for the kids, and THANK YOU to all who donated so quickly and so generously to allow this to happen! Check out these amazing pictures! 


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‘Tis the Season of Holiday Books at CHOC

ECBC had a fun and productive day on Thursday, getting books and reading to CHOC patients in a variety of ways. We teamed up with MaxLove Project for a holiday-themed BeSuper Party in the hospital lobby, where we gave away December holiday-themed books to patients and siblings of all ages. We also delivered books to the Outpatient Infusion Center, re-stocking their shelves with approximately 150 new holiday books. And, per our ongoing bi-weekly inpatient program, ECBC’s expert Bedside Readers read aloud to the Oncology and Neurology patients on the 5th floor while also giving away books to patients in isolation using our mobile book cart. To top it off, we delivered a Read+Think+Thrive Bag to a 17-year old cancer patient. It was so fun to reach so many patients at CHOC, especially with terrific high-quality, holiday-themed literature! This is the first year we’ve been able to provide CHOC kids with holiday books and they have been THRILLED — THANK YOU TO everyone who has been dropping off and sending books to us — — we’ve been overwhelmed by the donations, which are making this season at the hospital that much more

special! #HospitalizedKidsNeedBooksToo #ReadAloudEveryDay #ReadThinkThrive #ThriveAgainstCancer #BedsideReading #BeSuper #ECBC #ReadThruTheHolidays


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BOOK IT! 2019 is 2 weeks away!

Please join us on September 8th in Irvine and walk/run for reading for hospitalized kids! Click the e-flyer below to register, join or create a team, donate, and more! Donate to our new book drive online or onsite to get a free pancake breakfast! And dress up as your favorite children’s book character and participate in our costume contest!

Click here to access race registrationsite


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A Productive Day at CHOC

Today ECBC trained a terrific new bedside reader volunteer (Karen Malone Ottoson — so happy to have you on board!); gave away a bunch of new books to toddlers through teens at our Super Book Give-Away alongside MaxLove’s Be Super Party in the CHOC lobby; delivered 125 new books to the Outpatient Infusion Center; conducted bedside reading in oncology and neurology patients’ rooms; and offered patients in isolation books to keep from our mobile Gifting Library Cart. A busy, great day at CHOC for ECBC!

PLEASE help ECBC keep this all this going for Orange County’s hospitalized kids and join us at our 2nd annual charity run — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Race is in 23 days — sign up now!!!

Click HERE to register, donate, and more!


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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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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!