If you're feeling down and need some words of wisdom, some life advice or just a little encouragement, all you have to do is give a call to Peptoc, and you will be greeted by a bunch of kindergarteners giving you a share of their wisdom.
Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss, two teachers from West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, California, launched a free hotline called Peptoc, along with their students to share their joy at these tough times.
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.
- Jessica Martin to NPR
People just had to call 707-998-8410 or 707-873-7862, and they would be greeted by kindergarteners giving them life advice, words of wisdom, and encouragement. When you dial the number, you'll be greeted with, "Hi, welcome to Peptoc, a public art project by West Side School," followed by a bunch 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."
Each option takes you to a variety of children's voices, insights, and in one case, just laughter. If you press 3, you'll hear a bunch of kids reciting uplifting mantras.
"Be grateful for yourself," one kid says.
"If you're feeling up high and unbalanced, think of groundhogs," another one chimes in.
"Bro, you're looking great," another kid says.
Jessica, who teaches the arts program at the school, was inspired by her student's positive attitude despite everything going around. She discussed the idea of art as a kind of social practice, and Peptoc was born.
"Their creativity and resourcefulness is something that we need to emulate, because that level of joy and love and imagination is what's going to save us in the end," she said.
The hotline was launched on Feb 26, and Jessica expected them to receive 100 calls every hour. But within two days of the launch, they started receiving over 500 calls every hour.
"That this went viral is really a testament that we all still have a lot of healing to do," Jessica said. "And you know, with the current situation in Ukraine and all of the other terrors and sadness that we all carry, it's really important that we continue to hold this light."
So the next time you need a little boost, dial Peptoc at 707-998-8410.