A Little Bit of Joy
A group of students found a way to spread happiness.
Photos by Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss
Everyone needs some encouraging words sometimes. That’s why a group of students created the Peptoc Hotline, a phone number people can call to hear positive messages anytime they want.
The idea for the hotline came from Jessica Martin, an art teacher at West Side Elementary School in Healdsburg, California. Martin wanted to spread joy at a time when there are a lot of tough things going on in the world. So she recorded her students saying happy messages and set up the hotline. She also asked some students to make posters with uplifting messages, which she then hung up all over Healdsburg. Working on the project brought Martin’s students plenty of joy, and they hoped it would also bring happiness to others.
People who call the Peptoc Hotline can hear recordings of kids ranging in age from 5 to 12 saying things like, “Be you!” and “Live it up!” These messages are mini “pep talks,” short speeches meant to make others feel happier and more confident. In fact, the project was originally called the Pep Talk Hotline, but when Martin’s 6-year-old son wrote it down, he spelled it P-E-P-T-O-C.
The hotline, which debuted on February 26, has been a huge success. It receives hundreds of calls every hour, according to Martin.