California Elementary School Students Set up a Public Hotline for Pep Talks


The new hotline was created by children to spread joy.

Adrian Florido hosts Weekend Edition on NPR. His experience was shared calling the hotline — entitled Pep Talk  — sharing the audio with the podcast’s listeners. 

“Please listen to the following options for encouraging messages. If you’re feeling mad, frustrated or nervous, press one. If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press two,”The recording states.

“If you need a pep talk from kindergarteners, press three. If you need to hear kids laughing with delight, press four.”

Pep Talk was created by West Side Elementary students, their teachers Jessica Martin in California and Asherah Wiss in California. 

“I trust that you can make things right,” a child’s voice says. “We already like you,”One could be another.

Florido claims Martin was inspired by her students positive attitudes despite the challenges they faced as kids, such as the pandemic and wildfires.

Martin reports that Pep Talk receives thousands upon a daily basis. Martin shared the teacher’s hope that the hotline would provide some relief for callers who are facing current difficulties.

“That this went viral is really a testament that we all still have a lot of healing to do,” Florido says. “And, you know, with the current situation in Ukraine and all of the other terrors and sadness that we all carry, it’s really important that we continue to hold this light.”

If you want to listen in on the kids’ positive messages or joyful giggles, dial 707-998-8410 for Pep Talk.