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TomTod is a unique and quirky organization. We’re the first to admit it! Working with middle schoolers, we strive to make our DNA as fun, whimsical and energy-surged as the students we serve! Today, we answer your most puzzling TomTod questions, in Part 1 of a 2 part series.

Okay, Okay. Who’s Tom? Where’s Tod?

Great question! Curiosity peaks when an organization’s name could be classified as two first names. But, TomTod really stands for Tomorrow’s Ideas, Today! Society typically views middle school as an awkward transition time from childhood to 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.

What exactly does TomTod do?

We empower middle school students to launch absurd ideas that enhance the common good. We accomplish this mission through 4 different programs:

Idea X: 6-12 month long experiential mentorship adventure. We walk with middle school students through an ideation process, starting with an application & interview experience & continuing to team building, idea development & launch. Read more about our Idea X projects.

Canton Dreamoratory: A week-long summer camp for middle schoolers centered on the assets and challenges of a specific city center. Students develop ideas to make Canton a better place & then present their ideas to community leaders.

Grasp. Go. Grow.: An in-school program that walks students through the ideation process. In the 2014-2015 school year the program is at The Early College Academy & The College & Career Readiness Academy at Lehman. 

Artsplorations: Our newest program, students explore innovation through the arts. We hold Saturday morning workshops, taught by local experts. *Partial funding provided by ArtsinStark.

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 ministry. 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. The three new projects were launched in the fall of 2012 and TomTod 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.

Check back next Tuesday for Part 2, when we answer more puzzling questions!

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