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!

Despite the continued challenges of these extraordinary times, including not being able to have our annual in-person fundraiser for a second year, we were able to support ECBC’s mission in many ways in 2021.  We built our oncology outpatient book gifting programs to be stronger than ever, giving away 200-300 books per month. We finally figured out how to successfully give a Read Think Thrive Bag to every child at CHOC as they are diagnosed with cancer — which amounted to 180 new diagnoses and bags delivered in 2021 (valued at $120-$150/bag). We continued to give away holiday-themed books for Halloween and December-themed holidays, although book delivery still looked different per Covid-altered protocol. Additionally, we launched our new virtual book club for teen cancer patients and survivors, with book selections and discussion curated by ECBC co-founder Ethan. AND, the best news of all is that we were one of few volunteer programs to be given the green light to resume our inpatient volunteer-dependent bedside reading and mobile book cart program as of this past October. It has been so great to be back reading aloud and book talking with the kids at CHOC!

Going forward in 2022, ECBC plans to continue to promote hospitalized kids’ cognitive health and thrivership by:

  1. Re-building and growing our inpatient reading programs to more expert reader volunteers, more days per week, more patient floors, and greater impact on kids’ thrivership during their hospital stays. 
  2. Sustaining our various book gifting programs — including our Read Think Thrive Bags for patients as they are diagnosed with cancer; our gifting libraries at CHOC’s Oncology Clinic and the Outpatient Infusion Center so that every child visiting the clinic or OPI can select a high-quality book to keep; and our holiday book gifting such as BOO-ks for Treats at Halloween and our December holiday book gifting.
  3. Recruiting more teens and young adults to join Teens Thrive Reading Group (TTRG), our new virtual book club for teen cancer warriors that includes gifting Kindles and monthly Kindle books to participants. As this is a virtual program that is not hospital dependent, we are hoping to expand TTRG beyond CHOC to include oncology teens from around the country. 
  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. Bringing our annual fundraiser (BOOK IT!) back to an in-person charity run/walk and book drive! Our fingers are crossed hard that we can host our onsite event this year — which raises the majority of the funds that we need to run our programs. Please save the date — Labor Day, Monday September 5 2022!

Thank you to our awesome bedside readers who are back at it despite the challenges that come with visiting a children’s hospital in the middle of a pandemic. And a special thank you to ECBC’s Board of Directors — I am deeply grateful for the commitment and contributions of each of you. And a HUGE thank you to our amazing community for supporting ECBC during this especially difficult time — every monetary donation, book donation, book drive, and social media shout-out has mattered and we are deeply grateful.

To start off 2022 with a one-time or recurring monetary donation, please CLICK HERE.

To donate a book from our wish list, CLICK HERE.

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


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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!