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.
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.