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What exactly does TomTod Ideas do?

We empower middle school students to launch absurd ideas that enhance the common good. We accomplish this mission through 3 different programs:

What If You Could: 6-12 month long experiential mentorship adventure. Middle schoolers think about stuff, but sometimes it seems like no one wants to hear about it. We do. Students can apply to What if You Could September 10-October 10. We are looking for ideas that cause the betterness of others.

Camp What If A week long summer camp for middle schoolers centered on the assets and challenges of a specific city center. Students spend the first half of the week learning about the city through experiential field trips and then spend the second half of the week creating ideas to enhance the city. The week culminates with a Community Ideation Celebration where students present their ideas to community leaders.

What If 101: An in-school program that walks students through the ideation process. In the 2015-2016 school year, the program is at The Early College AcademyThe Career & College Readiness Academy at Lehman and North Canton Middle School.

When did TomTod Ideas begin?

TomTod started in the hearts and minds of middle school students that Joel Daniel Harris hung out with in a decade of youth work. The very first TomTod project was the Shack-A-Thon, in the fall of 2011. In August of 2012, JDH left his job to pursue launching TomTod full-time. Three new projects were launched in the fall of 2012 and we received our 501c3 certification in February of 2013. New things are starting up all the time in the land of TomTod, so in some ways we’re always beginning again.

Where do your students come from?

Anywhere! We work with public schools and youth groups, students from all over Stark County, and travel to consult with groups anywhere in the world. We have currently worked with students from 8 different school districts in Stark County and have traveled as far as North Carolina to help a group of students concoct ideas on a Dream Weekend.

How are you funded?

Through generous people like yourself! We receive funding from private donors, foundations, businesses, and other corporate sponsors.

What does “TomTod” mean and why middle schoolers?

TomTod Ideas is short for tomorrow’s ideas today. Society typically views middle school as an awkward transition time from childhood to young adulthood. Middle schoolers are often projected to be leaders once they mature and age. We believe that middle schoolers are equipped to be leaders today and TomTod exists to release their potential.

Where is TomTod Ideas located?

TomTod Ideas keeps regular office hours at The Stark County District Library in downtown Canton (715 Market Ave. N, Canton, OH 44702). Give us a call if you plan on stopping by, as we’re often out and about, meeting with students, partners, and sharing dreams with the world.

How can I help?

TomTod Ideas wouldn’t exist without our awesome support team! To help us continue our mission, you can donate here. If you are a middle school student apply to What If You Could with an idea you have to better others. If you are an adult looking to volunteer, check out our volunteer page. We are always looking for energetic and invested adults to help with our programs. Contact jdh@tomtodideas.org with any further questions. We hope to collaborate with you soon!