Goodwill project at California school goes viral

The "Peptoc Hotline" public art project  has quickly gone viral with inspiring words from students.

Healdsburg, California (CNN)Two years into a pandemic with a war in Ukraine and gun violence in schools, churches and synagogues, students at a tiny rural California elementary school are offering free pep talks for everyone.

The inspiring messages, a series of bilingual recordings accessed by phone, went live February 26.
Dubbed the "Peptoc Hotline," the public art project from students at West Side Elementary School in Healdsburg, California, is designed to offer positive and encouraging mantras to help everyone through this trying time. The number to call: 707-998-8410.

    Welcome to 'Peptoc'

    Listen to the options available to callers who dial the Peptoc Hotline

    Source: West Side Elementary School

    The effort was the brainchild of Jessica Martin, a local artist who doubles as the art teacher for the small school. Martin expected the effort to inspire some smiles and maybe lift a few hundred spirits in Healdsburg and the surrounding community. In less than a week, the project has gone viral, receiving between 300 and 500 calls an hour, and up to as many as 5,000 calls a day, Martin said.
      "The adults among us have been holding everything up for so long, it's amazing to see what comfort children can bring," she said. "I was moved by the incredible collection of advice and encouragement they gleaned, and how easily and distinctly they were able to communicate it."

      Words of encouragement and advice

      All the recordings feature children, in their own voices.

        Feeling frustrated? Press 1

        Listen to a sample of advice for when you're feeling mad or frustrated

        Source: West Side Elementary School

        In a series of messages for those feeling "mad, frustrated or nervous," one child says, "If you're frustrated, you can always go to your bedroom and punch a pillow or cry on it," while another declares, "If you're nervous, go get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes."
        Following a prompt for callers who seek "words of encouragement and life advice," one child offers: "If you're feeling up high and unbalanced, think of groundhogs."
        Flyers promote positive messages from students at West Side Elementary School in Healdsburg, California.