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

The mission of Trident Literacy Association is to help adults 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

We offer a variety of individualized and small group instruction for adults—all designed to help our clients improve their skills and qualify for higher education and better jobs. 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. 

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

Jennifer Gibson

Board Chair

Merv Gibson

Chair Emeritus

Michael Jordan

Board Member

Kevin Wells

Board Member

Joann Sherman

Board Secretary

Libby Paul

Board Member

Raquel Padgett

Board Member

Mark Poerio

Board Treasurer