Pre-Texts, an educational protocol that improves literacy, innovation, citizenship & wellbeing.

this image shows Pre-texts intervention being carried out by Shamiri Institute at Elite Schools in Kibera

"Use text as material to make art"

Developed by Harvard Professor, Doris Sommer, and inspired by the leads from Montessori, Dewey, Freire, Boal, and everyday artists, Pre-Texts is an educational protocol that supports a range of educational, mental health, and socio-emotional goals for young people.

Tried and tested around the world, including in Delhi City Schools, refugee populations in Spain, and civic leaders in Bogota, Pre-Texts is a data-driven intervention in our Shamiri toolkit.

We implement Pre-Texts through our three-tier caregiving model where young people deliver it as an after-school program for high school students.


About Limitless

Pre-Texts improves youth mental health.

We recently tested Pre-Texts in field trial in Kibera—a large urban slum—as an after-school program.

Pre-Texts activities consisted of art-making exercises that interpret a literary text, like those required in school. Moments of creative expression are followed by collective reflection on the process of interpretation through art-making. Participants met daily for a week in groups of 6-12 youths  for one-hour sessions. Groups were facilitated by Thrive! Fellows (high school graduates ages 18-22).

Youths reported greater improvements in mental health outcomes compared to those in an active control.

see the science