Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Pep Talk!

If you're feeling upset, in need of some cheering words of encouragement, or just want to laugh, this might be something of interest. You may have read or heard about the PepToc Hotline on NPR, from Clara Parkes on Instagram, or a myriad of other places. Peptoc is a free hotline project from the students of West Side Elementary in California. Two teachers, Jessica Martin and Asherah Weiss put it together after being impressed by their students' positive attitudes. 


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. 

I had to call on Monday morning when I was having trouble dragging myself out of bed. The life advice I received was "If you're feeling up high and unbalanced, think of groundhogs." This made me laugh, got me out of bed, and I've been thinking about groundhogs ever since. 

This was started as an arts project - art as a social practice, a conversation to contribute to the world. If you would like to donate to the school (they had a massive arts budget cut this year), you can click here. Jessica Martin, one of the art teachers who came up with the idea, said, "One of my missions in the art program for the school is to introduce kids to the broadest approach to creative practice as possible. Yes, we're doing painting and drawing, but it's important that these kids also are being exposed to art by artists who are pushing definitions of what art is and the role it plays in our society." Interesting!

Don't be afraid to call Peptoc at 707-998-8410. It certainly won't cure the world's ills, but it may make you feel better for a moment. The advice I received today was "Choose weird" so that's just what I'm doing.

13 comments:

  1. I have not heard of this until now - thank you!

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  2. Your post has me already chuckling (groundhogs...choose weird). This sounds wonderful and I'm going to give a call!

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  3. I literally just saw the NPR story on PepToc this morning (well, I saw the tweet; I didn't click through to read the story, but now I don't have to!). It sounds like the perfect thing for a rotten day. I don't know anyone who can stay down in the dumps when a kid tells them to think about groundhogs!

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  4. I LOVE this!!!! Thanks for sharing, Bonny. I'm going to call right now. . .

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  5. I saw this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, but they were having issues with funding and it was hard to get through! Thank you for bringing this back to my attention! Calling now....

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  6. Thanks, Bonny! I love this idea, how creative is that?! I will definitely make use of this. The world is so dark right now.

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  7. OMG I LOVE the idea of a pep talk hotline, pure genius. Love the teacher's viewpoint on what makes art, its so true, at school I was always made to feel like I couldn't "do" art so I gave it up. How I wish I'd stayed with it. Oh well!
    Jillxo

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  8. Thanks for sharing, this sounds like something I need right now!

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    1. It's a small thing in the face of the world's issues, but thinking about groundhogs and choosing weird has made me smile multiple times. It is an interesting project!

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  9. That is the best! Thanks Bonny!

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  10. isn't that a fun thing to explore! We are staring at SNOW again. However, the birds are singing away and they make me so very happy!!!

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