We believe middle schoolers matter.

TomTod is a youth development nonprofit based in Canton, Ohio that listens to, honors, and advocates for middle schoolers.

Yep. You read that right. Middle schoolers, and only middle schoolers. 

We create programming specifically for 10-14 year olds because we think their perspective is valuable and necessary for the community.

Since 2012, we’ve helped thousands of middle schoolers discover and love their community while finding ways to help it thrive. Using the latest research about early adolescent development, our programing allows students to explore idea creation through a community-focused, developmentally appropriate lens.


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​Our Mission

TomTod Ideas empowers middle schoolers to explore and launch ideas that put empathy and imagination into action.

​Our Compass

Everything we do is community-based. Early Adolescents are in a critical developmental stage when they are fiercely curious about their place in the world. We aim to tap into that curiosity, directing it toward empathy and community engagement. We cultivate the altruism they’re seeking by encouraging them to pursue the common good through ideas that help their community thrive. 

We are also responsive to student choice, intent on helping middle schoolers develop healthy autonomy. While we develop helpful pathways for students to explore their community, they simultaneously get to follow their curiosity by working, researching, and collaborating around ideas that matter to them. When given the chance, middle schoolers want to help their community. We empower them to explore how they can.

​Our Pathways


Human-Centered Design Thinking is prolific in a wide variety of fields to solve problems, make discoveries, and innovate processes.

​We take Liberatory Design Thinking models, and refine them to be developmentally appropriate to early adolescents. Translating these best practices allows students to develop creative problem solving skills they can use for the rest of their lives.


We are firm believers that students learn through doing. We build curriculum that incorporates real partners with real problems that gives students real goals to work toward.

We go beyond defining skills like project management, empathy, and responsibility, and create meaningful opportunities for students to practice them.


​Our Outcomes


Our 10 Cs tap into decades of research around Positive Youth Development and 21st Century Skills to create the outcomes we aim to develop in students.

Our 10 Cs are Caring, Character, Collaboration, Communication, Confidence, Connection, Contribution, Competence, Creative Innovation, and Critical Thinking.