With all of the heavy news right now, sometimes we really need someone in our corner telling us “You can do it! Keep trying! Don’t give up!”. This is the actual pep talk I got this morning from a chorus of joyful Kindergartners when I dialed the encouragement hotline PepToc.
PepToc is a free hotline created by the students of West Side Elementary, a small public school in Healdsburg, California — with the help of their teachers Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss, of course.
All you have to do is dial 707-998-8410 to reach PepToc and a chorus of kids’ voices will prompt you with a menu of options:
If you’re feeling mad, frustrated or nervous, press 1.
If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press 2.
If you need a pep talk from kindergartners, press 3.
If you need to hear kids laughing with delight, press 4.
For encouragement in Spanish, press 5.
By pressing 3, a chorus of kids cheers you on with a series of uplifting messages. You can’t help but smile — and perhaps have just a bit more inspiration to tackle whatever is in front of you. Though personally, I think option 4 may be my favorite serotonin boost in the middle of a stressful day.
Not only is the PepToc hotline wonderfully inspiring, it is a testament to amazing and often underappreciated work of teachers. How wonderful that Ms. Martin and Ms. Weiss are helping young students learn that their small voices can make a big difference; considering the hotline has been receiving over 700 calls an hour (yes! an hour!) since it launched, it seems this may be exactly what the world needs right now.
Like most art programs in public schools, West Side has faced budget cuts and can use financial support to help sustain them If you love the PepToc hotline please consider donating here to help support the PepToc hotline fees. Ms. Martin assures contributors that any surplus funds will go towards the school’s enrichment programs.