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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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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Last day to make a year-end donation!

There’s only one day left of 2019! If you’d like to make a year-end gift to support books and reading for kids at CHOC Children’s Hospital, click HERE to access the PayPal link. Now that ECBC is an IRS approved nonprofit 501(c)(3), all donations are tax deductible (EIN 83-2934289). Your donation in any amount makes a significant difference in contributing to kids’ thrivership through treatment, especially cancer and other life-threatening/life-altering illness. If you have already made a year-end book or monetary donation, THANK YOU!! 


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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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‘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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Please help ECBC provide books for kids at Miracle Manor’s holiday party!

PLEASE HELP! ECBC just agreed to participate in a new holiday event that is occurring in just a few days, and we’re looking for some support to pull it off! 

On Friday December 6th, Miracle Manor (a home subsidized by Miracles for Kids for 12 low-income CHOC families with critically ill children) will be hosting a holiday event for their families, and ECBC was invited to provide storytime and books for all of the kids! Our goal is to provide two books for each of the approximately thirty children who live at Miracle Manor, with books picked out specially to match the ages, gender, and interests of each child. So, we are in need of some quick donations! You can help in one of these two ways: (1) donate via PayPal by clicking on HERE, or (2) donate a book off an Amazon wish list that ECBC created specifically for Miracle Manor kids (click HERE). Books bought off this list will go directly to ECBC with donor name written on the bookplate. We would SO appreciate your help so that we so we can provide specific titles that these children will be excited to read!

Also, ECBC needs holiday-themed books for our bedside reading program, to gift to patients in isolation, and for our annual holiday book give away event in the CHOC Children’s Hospital lobby. Please click HERE to buy books from this wish list!

THANK YOU for helping CHOC patients and families THRIVE through treatment during the holiday season!


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Thank you ECBC Team!

It was so fun to celebrate a successful BOOK IT 2019 with this amazing team!  We went over BOOK IT summary numbers (net profit was $30,000, 13,000 more than BOOK IT 2018), reflected on positives and areas needing improvement, and  started our planning for BOOK IT 2020. And, we got to meet in the beautiful Fenny’s Flowers studio and make succulent pumpkins! Thank you Fenny for hosting! I am so grateful for this group’s commitment to ECBC and wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing at CHOC without them! Danielle and David Clawson, we missed you!


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ECBC’s Halloween Book Drive

This is the last week to donate to ECBC’s Halloween Book Drive for our annual BOO-KS for Treats at CHOC Children’s Hospital. Please click below to view Ethan’s video plug. You may CLICK HERE to purchase Halloween-themed books from our Amazon Wish List — all books purchased will be sent directly to ECBC and donor names written on bookplates.

Click above to view


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Bedside Reading is Officially 2x/Week at CHOC!

Too bad we can’t show faces b/c boy was this teen’s expression priceless — pure joy!

We are so excited that ECBC is now offering bedside reading by our awesome expert readers (mostly current and retired teachers and librarians) two times per week at CHOC Children’s Hospital! We are taking baby steps for sure towards our goal of being able to provide the opportunity for a read aloud to every patient every day — but our slow yet steady progress towards this goal means we are expanding our program thoughtfully, without compromising the quality of the reader or the read-aloud experience. Not all read-alouds are equal; there actually is an art to it!! And we’re proud to be providing quality read-aloud interactions with the best literature and good dialoguing. Which is so powerful especially for the many patients we read to who are not in school, receiving few if any other literature-based experiences, often spend substantial time on screens, may have a condition or be receiving treatment that affects cognition, need to escape the hospital walls, and/or just need to connect with another human being! Thank you to ECBC’s amazing (and growing) bedside reading team!!

If you didn’t make it to BOOK IT! last week (our annual charity run) and would like to support ECBC’s growing programs such as this one, the BOOK IT! online fundraising campaign will be running for another few weeks. Please CLICK HERE to donate!

If you missed the charity run and would like to hear Ethan’s brief welcome/update, please CLICK HERE or image above to view.


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Yesterday’s bedside reading highlight — Help ECBC keep this going and sign up for BOOK IT! 2019!

One of the best things about running ECBC’s bedside reading program at CHOC Children’s Hospital is the feedback from our expert read aloud volunteers after a shift at CHOC. The reports of “yes, I want a read aloud”, of the child’s reaction to the book, of the requests for “one more story.” These are kids that are often not in school, may spend significant time on screens, and sometimes have few to none literature-based experiences or opportunities to escape their hospital world. Yesterday, both bedside reader volunteers reported that the highlight of their day was their session with a 12- and a 13- year-old boy (the age/gender combo that tends to be the most reluctant to get a “yes” from). Both read aloud picture books with true stories — one of a World War 2 soldier’s friendship with a local Filipino girl (Tucky Jo and Little Heart, by Patricia Polocco) and the other a story of a con man who posed as a government official to “sell” the Eiffel Tower to scrap metal dealers before being caught and imprisoned (Tricky Vic, by Greg Pizzoli ). Two teen/tweenage boys, agreeing to being read, agreeing to picture books (albeit sophisticated ones that target an older audience), connecting with another, dialoguing about a new story with rich content …that’s what this is all about. Allowing books and reading to help kids THRIVE while at the hospital, not just get through their stay.

As of September, ECBC’s bedside reading program is expanding from one to two days a week — allowing us to reach more hospital floors and more kids. This is one of ECBC’s reading programs, among others, that demand a successful charity run and book drive next weekend! So PLEASE join us!! Click image below to register, donate, and more! Nine days to go…Please sign up now!!