English fortnightly, devoted to life, literature and culture.
SAMPLE ISSUE: Table of Contents
Vol: 68 No: 19
May 15, 2022
Students at an elementary school in California, with the help of their art teacher, created a telephone hotline to give cheerful advice to people during difficult times. The hotline is available in English and Spanish. Those who use the hotline get to listen to the happy voices of children sharing positive messages.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather conditions and the climate crisis, the last couple of years have been stressful. So, people need such positive messages.
Jessica Martin of West Side School in Healdsburg, California, thought her students might have the magic words to bring calm to people in these difficult times. They worked on a project called ‘PepToc’. Initially, it was called ‘Pep Talk’. But when Ms. Martin’s six-year old son drew an ad for the hotline and spelt it ‘PepToc’, they decided they liked that better.
Pressing the number 1 brings up ideas for people who are ‘feeling
mad, frustrated or nervous’. Helpful suggestions include: “Punch your pillow”, “Do flips on the trampoline” and “Go, get a cookie”.
Pressing the number 2 results in ‘words of encouragement and life advice’. This includes messages such as “The world is a better place with you in it” and “You are okay!”
Other students took part in making encouraging posters, which were hung up around the town. Many posters had strips of paper that people could tear off and take with them. For example, one poster said, “If you are mad, think of positive thoughts”, and had tearoff strips reminding people to “Be happy”.
The hotline has become incredibly popular with stressed adults, patients in hospitals, older people in homes, and others who just want to hear the happy voices of children.
If you are in the US and you want to give PepToc hotline a call, the number is: 707-998-8410.
Bhavan's Journal May 15, 2022∎ 80