Bring together four to eight families, add a trained animator, stir in some children’s books and a dash of good food in a kitchen big enough to hold everyone and let the ingredients sit until properly mixed; the end result? Books to Belly, a creative approach to skills and literacy development that is growing in popularity across the Eastern Townships. “It’s unique to the townships, but it’s not a unique idea,” said Joanna Bateman, the Executive Director of Literacy in Action, explaining that the basic premise of the program is to offer a storytelling activity for children five to twelve years of age and their parents or caregivers, followed by a participatory cooking workshop based on the story that was read. “Once you get the concept, you can do it yourself,” she added, stating that one of the main goals of the activity is to encourage parents and their children to build trust and communication skills that can have a positive impact at home. See full story in the Wednesday, Jan. 23 edition of The Record.