California Kindergartners Spread Joy


Echo Staff

If you’re like many people these days, you could use a little more joy in your life.

Jessica Martin, an artist and art teacher from a small, rural elementary school in Healdsburg, California recently helped launch a project dedicated to doing just that– spreading joy.

Along with her students, Martin launched a hotline offering recorded words of encouragement and joy for anyone who calls the free number. The hotline launched on February 26 and just two days later, Martin told NPR they were receiving over 700 calls per hour. That number has exploded in the weeks since, and the hotline is now receiving up to 5,000 calls a day.

“Peptoc Hotline” 707-998-8410.
Here’s the message that greets you when you dial the free number:

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.

The name “Peptoc is credited to Martin’s 6-year-old son. She asked him to create a flyer to help advertise what she said would be a “Peptalk” hotline, but when her son sounded out the words and spelled them as “Peptoc” she decided to keep it since it came from such an honest place and unintentionally references TikTok.

Our personal favorites include: “If you’re frustrated, you can always go to your bedroom and punch a pillow or cry on it,” and “If you’re nervous, go get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes.”

Call the number. It’ll make you smile.