The Peptoc hotline is now open. Anyone can dial 707-8PEPTOC (707-873-7862) in order to hear the advice of children, from kindergarten through 6th grade, from West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, California about how to deal with anger, frustration or anxiety. There are also some positive messages added for those who need a little boost.
The line begins with giving people options, press one if “you’re feeling mad, frustrated or nervous”, and press two for encouragement and life advice. Press six to hear how great you are.
The comments left by the children are some of the most heartwarming things anyone could say.
“Rainbows are jealous of you,” or “You look better than a star in the sky,” are just some of the words of encouragement you can hear. Other advice includes getting ice cream when you are mad, sad or angry.
The project was originally designed by art teacher Jessica Martin who was trying to find creative ways to foster empathy and compassion. As an idea, she considered having them create these positive messages on a hotline. The messages were then created and Peptoc was formed. Martin noted that she wanted the project to be a celebration of how the students support each other and those around them. She added that children can be “powerful” and have incredible wisdom within them.
As Martin said each message came from the children and there was no script or prompting involved.