Port to Port Literacy Program

Inspired by a visit to a local third grade classroom, Fisherman’s Language goes Port to Port was created to pass on the delight and enthusiasm both the children, and James experienced during this visit. His message to them was clear and they deeply embraced it: Never give up on your education. Take it as far as you can. And, of course, everybody’s favorite. K-e-e-e-p Readin,!”

Because James cannot visit other classrooms, we decided to send his book instead. The traveling book will leave the Shining Star’s classroom in Ledyard, CT after spending a week with the class. The book will travel from state to state and spend one week with the next lucky classroom before it moves on. There is a suggestion page for the class to help them enjoy their own visit, but the book has proven to stir up a wild enthusiasm for reading and learning about proper grammar and the art of storytelling, so the journey is open for new ideas and ways of approaching literature.

A map of the United States will accompany the book, along with a sticker which is to be placed on the state it has just visited, and this journey will be tracked on our website, here on the Port to Port page! Photos and fan mail have already been included from the Shining Stars, and will soon be included here on this page.

Once the book visits all 50 states, we will send it to the White House in hopes that our President will sign it and send it on its maiden voyage around the world!!

It is our hope that this organic learning process will grow as it travels across America, leading us to a discovery about new ways to learn and approach basic reading and writing skills, as well as providing our children with a deeper and richer way to connect with literature.

If you are interested in having the book visit your school, please leave your information here and we will get back to you!

View a photo gallery of letters and photos of students involved in the Port to Port program.

Update: Here’s a wonderful message from 10-year-old Grace:

Hi im 10 years old and I saw your video and Im so happy for you.I hope you write another book, I’m reading your book soon.I always knew that you can never be too young or too old to learn something new.I hope you are ok after what you went throw.Im so happy for you!!!Please write back soon at ************!!!! I love A Fisherman Language!!!!!
                                                                                  From your friend,
My reply to Grace:
Dear Grace,
   I am Mr. Jim Henry’s granddaughter, Marlisa.  I will copy this letter and let him see it (all us kids call him Pop).  You have written such a beautiful letter that I think it will be the best thing that happens to him today!!  Can you ask your mother if we can post your letter on the web site in the Port to Port section?  Have you seen that? You and your class may want to have his book visit your school.  Where do you live?  I look so much forward to hearing from you again.  You are a beautiful young lady, your name matches your heart!  All my best, Marlisa     PS How did you hear about his book?
Next a note from Mom:
Hi Marlisa,
Thank you so much for responding to Grace, it just made her day! I saw the article about your Grandfather in People magazine and had to share it with Grace and her brother Vincent. Such a positive story and I love being able to share something that shows them you can accomplish anything with hard work! We purchased your grandfathers book tonight on our Kindle and Grace is reading it aloud as I type this (We skipped the occasional swear word!) : )
Please tell your Grandfather that he is now on Grace’s list of heros and thank him for teaching people that you can do anything!
Best Wishes,
Gina (Grace’s Mom)
And a final note from Grace:
My mom said you can post it on the port to port page! And i live in Colorado and I have heard about that page.I heard about this book by a magazine and I read it and it touched my heart so I had to  do this.All I can think about right now is how is this happening to me getting on the port to port page also my class would love to hear about this! Im reding it this very miunte!

29 Responses to Port to Port Literacy Program

  1. Megan Kelly

    I am a speech pathologist who works with a Veteran who has sustained a traumatic brain injury. He is learning to read all over again at the age of 50 and would be very inspired to read the book! He has also started his own fishing club here at our hospital in Washington, DC.

    We would love to be a part of the book share!

    • Teresa Kelly

      Megan – were you able to get a copy of the book for your patient? If not, I’d like to offer to purchase one and have it sent to you. I’m not affiliated with Port to Port, but I teach developmental education to adult learners and my late father was a Vietnam Veteran who taught me a love of reading at a young age. He also taught me to crab (though not fish). If you still need a copy, please post here with a contact email.

      Teresa Kelly

    • Anonymous

      We had replied but are still getting used to our website and all the aspects of this enormous project. It obviously didn’t post! We thought you had a great idea and we could do a Troop to Troop, sending the Program to veterans and in the same fashion, State to State. Send us your address to our contact info address. That was really super nice of the other Ms. Kelly to offer to get you a book. We are so appreciative of all this support and encouragement!! Marlisa and Alicia

  2. Mary Kate

    Hello! I am a fourth grade teacher and am very interested in using this book. We have read many stories about characters overcoming challenges, particularly in regards to reading, and I believe my class would treasure this inspiring story!

    Mary Kate

    • Marlisa

      would you like to be the second class to receive the project? We would love to send you the package this week if you review the structure first and let us know if you are able to do this at this time. Please send us your email address at maxine03smith@gmail.com

  3. Kathleen

    Our class would love to be part of the Port to Port Project. How do we find out about it?
    K. Allen
    Hudson Country Montessori School
    Danbury, CT

    • Fisherman's granddaughters

      Anyone interested in the Port to Port program just needs to shoot us an email: piperflynn@yahoo.com. We will be in contact and hopefully get your school on board!! Thanks, Marlisa, Alicia, and Maxine

  4. Holly

    My daughter’s class would love to be a part of the Port to Port program! We think this is a wonderful idea and want to support James and literacy in any way we can. Thank you!

    Holly Jarovsky
    Lake in the HIlls, IL

  5. Yagawa Kengo

    i am a teacher in japan…and i am inspired by your book and website…i hope i can open the eyes of some of my young students with the stories of what can come true…what is possible…when you can read and write…yes – in english. i know that the whole world opens up to you and it did for the captain. i wish we had your book here for a signing and a chance to meet the FISHERMAN and hear his language in person. we also sail here on a 18-meter twin-masted schooner sporting 8 sails and i function as the bosun – mentoring youngsters on the art of marlinspike…knots.

    yagawa kengo in tokyo, japan
    tokyo-to shinjuku-ku shimo-ochiai 3-16-14 japan 161-0033

  6. Christine Klein

    I am a teacher for our local Adult Basic Literacy Education center – adults who are studying for their GED. I am the reading teacher for students who currently read at an elementary level and who are anywhere from 17 – 80 years old. I have only been teaching adults for 1-1/2 years (I am a K-5 teacher) and have found their experiences to be heart-wrenching as well as uplifting.
    I would love to share your book with them – as an inspiration to never give up and as an example of the power of success at any age. I believe your book and your experiences will provide not only good reading material and literary discussions, but will also be motivation and encouragement for many adults who have known too many failures in their lives. Your success can help them create their success.

  7. Lee Whiting

    I am the Outreach Services Librarian for Summit County, Utah and visit many of the elementary schools throughout our community. I saw this presented tonight on MSNBC and was intrigued by the story. When I saw your Port-to-Port program I knew immediately that I would like to support your mission and I would like to involve students at North Summit Elementary School in Coalville, Utah with this program. If you have not yet committed a school in Utah for this program, please let me know.
    Lee Whiting

  8. Jeanine Butterworth-Green

    I would love for my students to be involved in this country and soon to be world wide book tour! I am a third grade teacher at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School in Camden, NJ. Just like the Captain’s story, my students also face a challenge, they struggle everyday with their lives and school is an escape. My students love to read because it can take them to far off places beyond their imaginations. From there they can begin to create their own stories just like the Captain did. This book tour would be an amazing opportunity for my students! I look forward to having the book stop in my classroom in NJ!

  9. Roy Rice

    How can I contact someone by phone ?

  10. Roy Rice

    I ordered your book 3/27/12. I have e-mailed you several times to get a shipping date. I have contacted my credit card provider and they said you billed me.
    When can I expect delivery ?

  11. Carmen Reverendo

    I am a sixth grade reading teacher in Sidney, Ohio. I teach six classes of reading each day. I am VERY interested in reading Mr. Henry’s book to my classes. Please include me in your Port to Port Literacy Program. I would love to share Mr. Henry story with my students and discussing the themes. I hope that I you allow me the opportunity to pass along Jim’s message.

    Carmen Reverendo

    • Jim Henry

      Hi, It’s Jim here and I want to thank you very much for what you are doing. Some day I hope we can meet in the future! All the best, Jim

  12. SKPS GOAL Students

    First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We read your life story and found it very inspirational. It shows that no matter how old or young we are, any goal we set our mind to can be achieved.You’ve accomplished so much, being a fisherman and writing a story about your life experiences. We are very interested in being part of your Port-to-Port program because we want to feel connected to everyone who has been touched and impacted by this book. I know we have been. The way you have lived your life has taught us to value the importance of the education that we receive. It teaches us to never give up, keep moving forward, and that it is never too late to learn something new.You are an amazing role model for all those who can’t read and want to learn how. Your story also teaches us that instead of losing hope from our shortcomings, we should put in the effort and overcome any challenges we may face. We greatly appreciate that you have shared your story with us through this book.

  13. Candice Bidner

    Hi! My name is Candice Bidner and I am a 7th grade teacher in Long Branch, NJ. We have a high Portuguese population and were very inspired by your book. We would love to be part of the Port to Port program. I also sent you an email – I didn’t know which way would be most effective. Thank you so much – I know it will make my kids day! :-)

  14. Kim Smith

    My boyfriend is Illiterate. He feels at 51 he is too old to learn how to read. He is too embarrased to go to school at his age. I tell him all the wonderful things he is missing out on by not being able to read. I guess he can’t image it since it’s never been a part of his life. Your book would be so encouraging BUT he can’t read it. There should be an audio book available for people to listen to and feel inspired to go out and learn to read!
    Congratulations to you!

  15. Carmen Reverendo

    HELLO! I emailed you in April regarding your PORT to PORT LITERACY PROGRAM. I am extremely interested in sharing Captain Henry’s book with my sixth grade student as a part of your program. I would like to be the classroom you choose for OHIO. As a sixth grade reading teacher, I am responsible for a bulletin board. I am introducing Captain Henry to all the students who walk the sixth grade halls at Sidney Middle School. It will also be exciting to be able to share a part of my culture (being a portuguese immigrant) and to show my students how far you can go with his beautiful example and sayings!
    Keep Reading & Never Give Up!!!
    I hope to hear from you SOON.
    Thank you,
    Carmen Reverendo

  16. Debbie Laffin

    I am the director/coordinator of the Adult Learning Service which is Adult Education, funded by the state and local government. It is free to all out students needing basic reading, writing, math, GED, and ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages). Here, in the state of NH, one of our Adult Ed. coordinators e-mailed and shared your story with us. How awe inspiring and proof that NO matter how young or old you are IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!! I will be sharing this with my volunteer tutors and students as I just purchased the book.
    I am sorry to hear that Jim died, I would have loved to have him come and speak to my adult students and the whole of Lebanon School District!! I am in hopes that you, Melissa, will consider Lebanon, NH, SAU 88 school district as a stop for the book so that I could share it with all in the district, I would even like to share it with all teachers and staff!!
    Thank you, Captain James Henry for your words, your perseverance, your inspiration, your proof that it is never too late!! I WILL be one that will keep your book on my desk in full sight for all to see and if anyone says to me that they don’t think it is possible to reach a goal in life I will open this book and read it to anyone with doubts!!!!
    Debbie Laffin

    • Jim's Granndaughters

      Thanks so much!!! We have goosebumps and look so much forward to coming to visit!!

  17. Lee Whiting


    Can you please send me a note ASAP via email to confirm your plans for the Port-to-Port Literacy program that we discussed 2 weeks ago? I made contact with the school that would be hosting the program and they would like to make plans to execute the program before the school year ends.

    At this point I don’t have your email, phone or personal contact info, so that would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks very much.


    • Marlisa McLaughlin

      This is indeed possible! We are just 3 family members new in all this so please bear with us and we can speak directly on my cell so we can arrange for you. I am Jim´s oldest granddaughter and one of the creators of Port to Port. Welcome aboard! Sincerely, Marlisa Write me directly piperflynn@yahoo.com to leave

  18. Linda Paolillo

    We are interested in having the book visit our school!
    Please contact me if this is possible!

  19. Lisa Baker

    Dear Henry Family,

    I’m sad to hear about the loss of your grandfather. What a legacy he has left!

    I would love to support your mission and have Mr. Henry’s book visit our school, Greengate School, in Huntsville, Alabama. We are Alabama’s only school for dyslexic children. I would love to be able to share Mr. Henry’s story with our students. What an inspiration!

    Lisa Baker
    Reading Therapist

  20. Marlisa McLaughlin

    Please contact my email piperflynn@yahoo.com and we can line this up for you. I have worked in cranioSacral therapy and have actually helped one client with her dyslexia. There were issues with optical nerves being compromised and the gentle releases relieved pressure and opened her reading abilities tremendously. Have you heard of this before? I would be happy to share my knowledge with you! Thanks, Marlisa

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