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Have a question? Shoot us an email & we’ll collect the questions (and answers!) that we hear most often here.

What exactly does TomTod 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 (formerly Idea X) : 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 (formerly Dreamoratory): 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 (formerly Grasp. Go. Grow.): 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 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, businesses and churches. We are also currently pursuing a variety of grants.

What does “TomTod” mean and why middle schoolers?

TomTod 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.

Do schools pay for your in-school programs?

Schools do not pay for TomTod programs. TomTod is unique because we offer programs that support teachers’ existing curriculum at no cost to the schools. We enjoy providing this supplemental resource to schools and plan to expand our reach to other districts in the area.

Where is TomTod 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 wouldn’t exist without our awesome support team! If you are a middle school student apply to What If You Could with an idea you have to better others from September 10-October 10. 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!