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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THANK YOU, BOOK IT! 2019 PARTICIPANTS!

A HUGE thank you to our AWESOME community for joining us last Sunday at Ethan & Choco’s Book Club’s (ECBC) 2nd annual charity run and book drive —BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Approximately 400 racers (and nearly 500 total including volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and supporters) came to walk, run, fundraise, book-raise, and make our event an amazing success! The amount of funds raised is still to be determined, but it is looking like we will have a net profit that exceeds our profit from BOOK IT 2018. The book drive component of the event was also super successful: the online pre-event book drive resulted in over 95 hardcover book donations and 132 Read+Think+Thrive book box donations for kids diagnosed with cancer, and the onsite book drive yielded hundreds more new books. What a great (and needed) 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 and bought books from Scholastic, met authors and bought signed copies of books, donated purchased books at the ECBC booth, wrote Care Cards to go in oncology kids’ book boxes, had their faces painted and cartoon caricatures drawn, warmed up with CHOCO the CHOC bear mascot, enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, participated in the book character costume contest, and raced their hearts out on the beautiful Jeffrey Open Space Trail. It was so fun to see so many doing this in their bright orange “BOOK IT!” shirts and sporting “Run Read Thrive” medals!. Congratulations to top 5K finishers (male winner Timothy Lam, female winner Kaylah Tasser) and to our 10K winners (male – Sam Juliano, female –  Helena Madden), as well as to all age division winners. And congratulations to Costume Contest winners (the Peter Pan family, Elephant & Piggie, and the Harry Potter couple) and to everyone who added to our themed race by sporting literary costumes!

Thank you to Jeffrey Trail Middle School, Irvine Unified School District, and the city of Irvine for providing us with a fantastic location for our event.  Thank you to Caren Ware and Itz About Time for their expertise in course management and timing equipment. My deepest thank you to our Title Sponsor, KOI CBD for stepping up in the final weeks before race day to support our cause (click here to learn more), and a huge thank you to all of our sponsors: Paris Family Trust (T-Shirt Sponsor), Behr Paint (Medals Sponsor), Enderle Center (Handprint Wall Sponsor), Rise Up Foundation (Costume Contest Sponsor), 5 Boroughs Book Club (Double Book Box Sponsor), VOIT Real Estate (Double Book Box Sponsor), Sur West Homes (Book Box Sponsor) and AA Jewel Box, Cancer clothing, Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway Realtor, and Adriene Madden/Magic Maple Tree for your in-kind sponsorships. Thank you as well to all of our event partners: Children’s Hospital of Orange County, KidsREAD!, MaxLove Project, PaKua Martial Arts, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter, Orange County Children’s Book Festival, Orange County Public Library Foundation, Orange County Department of Education, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Creative Parties for Kids. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of our terrific sponsors and  partners!

Also thank you to MC Andrea Kooiman for providing such an energetic and positive vibe; Master Clawson for leading a super fun warm-up; Emily Frye for all your help with design and artwork; Zov’s for proving the waters; Smart & Final and Sprouts for providing bananas and oranges; Kiwanis Club of Irvine for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast; Francie Rosen and Balloons Sound Great for the 1K Fun Run Arch; and Abigail Tweedt for stepping up to sing the National Anthem. Thank you to Scholastic Books for providing terrific titles to sell for the onsite book drive as well as your significant donation of books. Thank you to children’s authors Sheri Fink, Mara James, Derek Taylor Kent, Adriene Madden, Jennifer Gray Olson, Dan Paley, and Suzi Shaffer for joining us with signed copies of your books for the book drive, and thank you to Susie Alexander / Once Upon a Storybook for inviting authors and being a vital part of our cause and events. Thank you to Barry Ackerman, Event Coordinator, who worked tirelessly on many aspects of the event and without whom BOOK IT! would not have been possible. And thank you to the rest of the BOOK IT 2019 planning team for your hard work in the weeks and months leading up to event day — especially Susie Alexander, Sandy Tweedt, Fenny Kokenge, Mary Kay Viscounty, Deb Kennard, David and Danielle Clawson, and Julie Schulman. It was our first year to have a planning team, and as such they helped to secure sponsors, authors, volunteers, and participants — thus expanding our reach in the community. Also, this event would not have happened without the great volunteers who came out to help on race day. Thank you to the Assistance League of Tustin, ECBC’s Bedside Readers, Girl Scout Troop #3115, Nicole Photoglou, Toby and Roger Kuo, Denes family, and Tyler Yang. This event is a big undertaking for our tiny organization, and it truly does take a community to pull it off. You are all so appreciated. 

And finally, thank you to the many individuals and families who came out to help make the event such a success! A special thank you to the awesome 36 participants who signed up for the 10K, which was a new event this year that we hope provides a starting place for growth in future BOOK ITs! Thank you to the many participants (many whom we don’t know) who promoted on social media, recruited more participants  (the “shares” directly resulted in registrations) and called teams together. A huge shout out to our largest teams: Hewes Middle School, Equalizers, Sherwin-Williams/IREM OC, MatchPoint Tennis Academy, Foothill High School, and Arroyo Elementary School.

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. With two years of our charity run under our belt, we hope to continue to grow our annual event so that it continues to support our growing reading programs at CHOC, and hopefully someday a sustainable library there as well. THANK YOU FOR “BOOKING IT” FOR READING FOR KIDS AT CHOC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL! See you back next year for BOOK IT! 2020!

** If you couldn’t make it on race day but would still like to contribute to our annual fundraiser — either because you want to support BOOK IT! directly or as a way to honor childhood cancer awareness month, it’s not too late! The online book drive/fundraising campaign will be running for a month after the event, until October 8, 2019.

TO DONATE ONLINE, CLICK HERE
TO CHECK OUT THE ALBUM OF RACE DAY PHOTOS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW RACE DAY RESULTS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW ETHAN’S OPENING WORDS, CLICK HERE
TO VIEW RUNNERS BOOKING IT, CLICK HERE]


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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!!


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Join us at BOOK IT! 2019 and race for reading for hospitalized kids!

Please watch Ethan’s video and sign up for BOOK IT! 2019, ECBC’s 2nd Annual Charity Run — Sunday, September 8 at Jeffrey Trails Middle School and Jeffrey Open Space Trail in Irvine…

Click on www.runsignup.com/runreadthrive to register, donate, and more!

BOOK IT is one month from today — we need your support!


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SPONSORS NEEDED FOR BOOK IT #2!

ECBC’s 2nd annual charity run is just 6 weeks away, and we are urgently needing a title sponsor at the $5000 level. Title sponsor receives event naming on the start/finish banner, large logo on t-shirt, website presence, and up to 10 runner registrations. PLEASE share this with family and friends who could be potential sponsors! We also are looking for corporate sponsors ($3500), book box sponsors ($500+) and in-kind sponsors that cover items such as bounce house, photo booth, etc ($250). CLICK HERE for the sponsor form, and CLICK HERE to see which sponsor levels are taken and still needed.

A HUGE thank you to those in our community who have committed to sponsor BOOK IT #2!! Paris Family Trust (T-shirt Sponsor), Behr Paint Company (Medal Sponsor), Enderle Center (Handprint Wall Sponsor), Rise Up Foundation (Costume Contest Sponsor), Voit Real Estate (two Book Box sponsorships), Cancer Clothing (In-Kind), and Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway (In-Kind). The success of our event and continuation of our reading programs for hospitalized kids are dependent on your support , so we are hugely grateful.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please CLICK HERE to register. We are currently behind last year’s numbers, yet we need to double them in order to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital! Also, when you register (or if you can’t join us), please consider donating to our virtual book drive (using the same registration link) — which last year was able to provide enough book boxes and books to maintain 6-8 months of our programs. 1K/5k/10K, custom medals and t-shirts for all participants, division winner awards, book character costume contest with prizes, and option to purchase a pancake breakfast. Donate a book or book box online when you register, or bring a new book to the run on race day — and receive a free pancake breakfast!


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JOIN US for BOOK IT 2019!

ECBC’s 2nd annual charity run and book drive is just around the corner, and we need your support in order to sustain/grow our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital!

BOOK IT! Racing for Reading of Hospitalized Kids will be on Sunday, September 8th at Jeffrey Trails Middle School and Jeffrey Open Space Trail! You can help in one or more of these four ways:

  1. Register to run in the 5K, 10K or 1K Fun Run. All runners receive a custom BOOK IT! T-shirt, medal, and electronic timing results. Sign up easily at www.runsignup.com/runreadthrive
  2. Contribute to our online book drive by donating $20 for a new hardcover book for ECBC’s lending library or $100 for a book box for children at CHOC who are newly diagnosed with cancer. Online and onsite book donors will receive a ticket for a free pancake breakfast at the race. Click HERE to donate online.
  3. Be a BOOK IT! Sponsor! We need sponsorships at all levels, including T-Shirt Sponsor, Medal Sponsor, and Title Sponsor. Click HERE to check out the enclosed Sponsor Form for the variety of sponsor levels,; all sponsors will receive name or logo recognition on the BOOK IT! t-shirt. Email Ali@ECbookclub.com for more information.
  4. SHARE this post or the BOOK IT! registration link — www.runsignup.com/runreadthrive. Last year we had almost 500 participants, and we are aiming to double the turnout this year to meet the needs of our growing programs. Please help us expand our community of supporters!

BOOK IT! Is currently our primary means of fundraising and bookraising! We need all the support we can get so that we can continue to help hospitalized kids thrive through treatment with the help of books and reading. THANK YOU! 


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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.