Sweet Hotline Offers Pep Talks From Kindergartners for a Dose of Serotonin
In California, a group of kindergartners at West Side Elementary School are boosting moods worldwide by offering daily pep talks via a free telephone hotline.
Hoping to put joy on speed dial, PepToc was created with the help of two West Side Elementary School art teachers, Asherah Weiss and Jessica Martin.
Callers receive unscripted words of encouragement, advice and laughter.
The response to the motivational messages has been overwhelming, with the school reporting up to 9,000 calls per hour — nearly half a million calls total and counting. In fact, the school has now added a second number after the original crashed from being flooded with calls.
Need a pick-me-up?
Just dial 707-873-7862 (707-8PEPTOC) or 707-998-8410!
When you call in, the joyful voices of 5-year-olds will prompt you with a list of cheerful options to improve your spirits.
"If you're feeling mad, frustrated, or nervous, press 1," says the voice menu. "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."
Whatever the worry, PepToc is here to help.
"If you feel mad or frustrated, you can do what you want to do best, or you can do flips on the trampoline," a child advises callers who select the encouragement option.
"If you're nervous, go get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes," is another piece of friendly advice.
If you are feeling a little scattered, the kids have an idea for that, too.
"Think of groundhogs," says a West Side Elementary School child.
According to NPR, Martin hopes that the hotline will help people deal with whatever they are going through.
"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," Martin tells NPR.