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Since 1972

Providing a path forward with educational literacy

Our History

Trident Literacy Association was founded in 1972 by Pat Gibson who used a shoebox of index cards as a system to keep up with tutors and the students they served. Since that time it has evolved into a well-respected, leading agency in adult education with a mission to help adults reverse the cycle and impact of generational poverty and illiteracy through the acquisition of vital life skills.

From a compassionate woman with a shoebox, Trident Literacy Association has grown to offer a holistic approach to literacy education with basic literacy programs, GED-preparation courses, career readiness, English as a Second Language, and digital literacy, as well as comprehensive family literacy, individual advising and parenting skills.

Adults in the US cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level

Adults in Charleston area without a high school credential

Number of Students Served by Trident Literacy each year

What Drives Us

Our Mission

Trident Literacy Association exists for the sole purpose of helping adults throughout the Lowcountry reverse the cycle and impact of generational poverty and illiteracy through the acquisition of vital life skills.




Improving Lives

Why Trident Literacy Association?

Literacy = Better Life

Being literate means more than just being able to read. It means that you can read the newspaper and stay abreast of current events. It means being able to read a medicine bottle and take the appropriate dosage. It means being able to properly complete a job application and manage a check book. It means a better way of life, full of potential and promise. At Trident Literacy Association, we offer individualized and small group instruction for adults that achieves results for a stronger future.

Educational Programs

From GED programs to English as a Second Language (ESL) to digital literacy, we offer a variety of individualized and small group instruction for adults—all designed to help our clients excel in life. Learn more about our programs.

Career Support

Gainful employment is a core element of a healthy home and a feeling of accomplishment. We offer several programs to assist our clients in finding rewarding employment to support themselves and their families. Learn more about our career support programs.

Childhood Literacy

Through our partnership with Charleston County First Steps, we offer a free early childhood program for our clients who have children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old. Getting children ready for a lifetime of success. Learn more about our early childcare program.

Family Literacy

Parents or guardians are their children’s first teachers and family literacy allows parents and children to learn and grow together. Family literacy is offered to all of our clients who have a child enrolled in our early childhood program. Learn more about our commitment to family literacy.


Our Board

Merv Gibson


Jennifer Gibson

Board Member

Michael Jordan

Board Member

Marcela Rabens

Board Member

Joann Sherman

Board Member

Ben Pogue

Board Member