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Innovative Kids and their Viral Pep Talks

A project from West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, CA.

Peptoc is simple yet innovative, it is a public art project co-created by artists Jessica Martin, Asherah Weiss, and the students of West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, CA.  The project includes student-made motivational flyers, and a hotline with pre-recorded pep talks and life advice from kids aged 5-12. 

Shortly after is launch the hotline was receiving 60,000 calls an hour,  with more than 4 million calls in three weeks. Media outlets around the world covered the project, including NPR which had the following to say:

“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.

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.

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.
  • “Bro, you’re looking great.”
Press 3 for a pep talk from kindergartners. A new hotline gives you options for joy

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