An African proverb states, “if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family.”

Not to let men off the hook, but Trident Literacy will celebrate International Women’s Month at our Founder’s Award Luncheon on March 7 at Founder’s Hall, Charles Towne Landing.

It’s a good opportunity to bring attention to the critical role women play in the education of their children.

A National Institutes of Health study determined “a mother’s reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors, such as neighborhood and family income.”

At Trident Literacy, 60 percent of our students are women, many of them with children. As these women improve their literacy and workplace skills, they also gain skills to help their children. The result is that their children start school ready to learn, increasing the likelihood they will be successful.

Six outstanding women will be recognized at the luncheon: women’s rights advocate Jennet Robinson Alterman, tennis Hall-of-Famer Brenda Carter, Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival founder and College of Charleston associate professor of Italian Dr. Giovanna De Luca, James Beard Hall-of-Famer Nathalie Dupree, NAACP Charleston Chapter president Dot Scott, and emerita associate professor of nursing at MUSC Dr. Deborah Williamson.

WCBD-TV news anchor Carolyn Murray is our mistress of ceremonies.

The Founder’s Award is named for Pat Gibson, the founder of Trident Literacy.

We encourage everyone to attend to honor these accomplished women and learn how Trident Literacy is lifting generations out of poverty and changing lives every day.

And men are welcome, too.

Tickets can be purchased at www.tridentlit.org/founders. Or call 843-747-2223.

Eileen Chepenik

Executive Director

Trident Literacy Assoc.

Rivers Avenue

North Charleston