Life
Kindergartners launch free telephone hotline that’s melting hearts everywhere
As of March 14, their hotline has received roughly 500,000 calls. ❤️
D.G. Sciortino
03.28.22

The purity of children allows them to see the world differently than adults.

While adults have a way of complicating things, children see things in a simple way, giving them a better view of what really matters.

So, it only makes sense that we would go to them for advice when things get tough and we need to get back to the basics: loving ourselves and learning how to deal with tough emotions in a healthy way.

That’s why art teachers Asherah Weiss and Jessica Martin and their students at West Side Elementary School started Peptoc, a hotline people can call to get unscripted messages of encouragement from kindergarteners or to just listen to the uplifting bell-like sound of a child’s laughter.

“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,” Martin told NPR.

This is what you’ll hear when you call: 707-998-8410

“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.”

Pixabay
Source:
Pixabay

Depending on what number you press, you’ll hear messages like:

“Be grateful for yourself.”

“Don’t give up! Power through!”

“Always stay together.”

“The world is a better place with you in it.”

“Be you!”

“Never give up or back down!”

“You are OK.”

“It’s OK to be different.”

“Dude, live it up!”

“Be happy, try it again.”

“Bro, you’re looking great!”

“WE LOVE YOU!”

ThePressDemocrat - YouTube
Source:
ThePressDemocrat - YouTube

The kids will also offer some sage advice:

“Take three breaths and think of things that make you happy. Things that make me happy are things that will happen in the future like going to a friend’s or a cousin’s house.”

“Do something that inspires you, do something to make you feel better.”

Pixbay
Source:
Pixbay

The phone line ended up being massively popular and gets about 9,000 calls per hour.

As of March 14, about half of a million calls came in.

Think about all those people whose lives were touched and made better during such a difficult time in the world from a simple idea and initiative from teachers and their students.

“It was very shocking,” Weiss told CBS News. “The kids were just as surprised — it turned into a big thing. It spread all around the world. I was not expecting it to go this viral.”

The teachers made sure to inform their students about this gift that they gave to the world.

“That this went viral is really testament that we all still have a lot of healing to do,” Martin 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.”

They discussed the concept of using art as a social practice to create a conversation that can help to contribute to creating positivity in the world and even using art as a way to save the world.

In addition to the phone line, students also made motivational signs and posted them around.

“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.

Even though her school’s art program had a massive budget cut this year, they were still able to create something powerful which shows the importance of fostering arts in school.

“Adults support children, but we don’t really celebrate how much they support us. And to be able to be comforted by them gives us great hope that maybe we’re all going to be OK,” Martin told CBS News.

Be sure to share the phone line number with anyone you think could use a kind word. You can donate to the Peptoc program here and check out some motivational messages in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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