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Press 3 for a pep talk from kindergartners. A new hotline gives you options for joy
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of NPR


NPR, March 6, 2022
Posted: May 23rd, 2022
https://www.npr.org/2022/03/06/1084800784/peptoc-hotline-kin...

Amid a crush of heavy news from around the world, who couldn't use some sage advice right now? Call a new hotline, and you'll get just that — encouraging words from a resilient group of kindergartners. 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. Pressing 3 leads to a chorus of kids sounding off a series of uplifting mantras: "Be grateful for yourself," offers one student. "If you're feeling up high and unbalanced, think of groundhogs," another chimes in. Peptoc, as the free hotline is called, is a project from the students of West Side Elementary, a small school in the town of Healdsburg, Calif. It was put together with the help of teachers Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss. Martin, who teaches the arts program at the school, says she was inspired by her students' positive attitudes, despite all they've been through — the pandemic, wildfires in the region and just the everyday challenges of being a kid. "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. Martin says she hopes the hotline will give callers a little respite from whatever it is they're going through, which — judging from the thousands of calls the hotline gets each day — is quite a lot. So the next time you need a little boost, dial Peptoc at 707-998-8410.

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