Kids’ Pep Talk Hotline Shares Uplifting Advice

This children's hotline is trending.

Mar 23, 2022
Kids’ Pep Talk Hotline Shares Uplifting Advice | This children's hotline is trending.

In today’s hectic world, some uplifting advice is always needed. Especially if it’s filled with the wisdom of kindergarteners. A new hotline does exactly that.

if you call the hotline, reported National Public Radio, you will be greeted by kids’ voices giving you the menu of options including: “If you're feeling mad, frustrated or nervous, press one.” “If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press two.” “If you need a pep talk from kindergartners, press three.” “If you need to hear kids laughing with delight, press four.” There is even an option for encouragement in Spanish.

The hotline, called Peptoc after the creative spelling of a first grader, is a project from the students at West Side Elementary School, in Healdsburg, California and was the brainchild of teachers Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss.

Martin told NPR that she was inspired by her students’ positive attitudes and resiliency after the pandemic and wildfires that went through the area. “I thought, you know, with this world being as it is, we all really needed to hear from them — their extraordinary advice and their continual joy,” she said.

About Peptoc
The teachers wanted the project to be simple and would allow the kids to use their own thoughts and words to lift peoples’ spirits, according to The Guardian. Martin and Weiss went to each classroom in the school of 141 students – that range from kindergarteners to sixth graders –  and asked the kids  what gave them joy.  

“We said: ‘It’s been a very rough few years. You kids are incredibly resilient. And you found all kinds of ways to stay joyful,’” Martin told The Guardian. “So all of the responses are really coming from the kids and their own life experience, and the advice they’ve gleaned over their short years on this planet.”

One child came up with: “If you’re sad or angry, go get a cookie, a smoothie or an ice cream.” And another said, “If you’re frustrated, you can always go to your bedroom, punch a pillow or cry on it and just go scream outside.” All very sound advice.

Peptoc Goes Viral
The teachers thought the project was going to have a small reach and signed up with the most economic hotline provider they could find. The hotline launched on February 26, 2022 and spread by word of mouth and on social media. In two days, they were getting 700 callers per hour and now they are receiving 9,000 calls per hour.

Both staff and patients from Johns Hopkins medical center have been regular callers and the school has heard from callers from around the country.

The hotline is now funded by donations and will be updated soon. So, if you want to hear sound advice from some very wise kids, call 707-873-7862 and then take a trip to your favorite ice cream parlor.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.