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Having a bad day? Elementary students offer pep talks on free hotline

Young students offer pep talks on free hotline
Young students offer pep talks on free hotline 02:19

Healdsburg, California — West Side Elementary School is offering all the inspiration you'll ever need. With help from two art teachers, its students have created a free telephone hotline where callers get unscripted, motivational messages.

"Hi, welcome to Peptoc, a public art project by West Side school. If you're feeling mad, frustrated or nervous, press 1," the hotline says. Among the joyful suggestions: "If you're nervous, go get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes!" 

Whatever your worry, they have a solution. 

"If you need words of encouragement, press 2," another message says. "Be grateful for yourself." 

Whatever your insecurity, they will restore your confidence. 

"If you need a pep talk from kindergarteners, press 3," the hotline says. "You can do it!"

The hotline is the brainchild of teachers Asherah Weiss and Jessica Martin, who thought family and friends might enjoy calling the number. They couldn't have imagined what happened. Peptoc is now getting up to 9,000 calls per hour — roughly half a million calls total and counting.

"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." 

Students from West Side Union Grade School record words of encouragement for their Peptoc hotline.  CBS News

"You guys gave a gift to the world," Martin told them. 

And the teachers say it's more than those messages. 

"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. 

And if you ever doubt that, you know who to call. 

If you're in need of a little inspiration, you can call the free hotline at 707-873-7862. 

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