Our History

Trident Literacy Association was founded in 1972 by Pat Gibson, who used a shoebox of index cards to keep up with tutors and the students they served. Since then, 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 by acquiring 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.

Today, Trident Literacy Association is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) community based organization supported by community members through private donations, foundations, corporate sponsors,  and federal and municipal funding. Our Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language Programs are part of the SC Department of Adult Education system. They are held to the highest state and national standards. We are proud to have earned dozens of awards from the SC Department of Adult Education, including the Spearman Innovation Award.

2023 Dyer Pearl Literacy Award Recipient

Awarded by the Barbara Bush Foundation, the national honor recognizes organizations whose work exemplifies 1) strong and successful community collaborations; 2) successful and/or scalable programs in family, adult, and/or child literacy; and 3) best practices in adult literacy. The award is named for Rebecca Dyer, a longtime employee of the Barbara Bush Foundation and adult literacy advocate.