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2o16 annual report

CONTENTS A word from the Executive Dreamer 04 2016 by the numbers 05 Programming 06 Camp What If 08 What If 101 12 What If You Could 16 What If We 20 Foundation and corporate support 24

Board of Directors 25 Financial Overview 26


We EMPOWER middle school students to launch ABSURD ideas that enhance the COMMON GOOD. VALUES Imagination

We desire to harness the power of a dream, to fan the flame of possibility, and to shape hope into reality.


We believe in middle school students. We believe in their ideas. We believe in their ability to be passionately otherscentered, noble, and giving.


We value the planting, the growing, and the end product, encouraging gutsy stick-to-itiveness through holistic experiential learning opportunities.


We create space for a series of expanding impacts, catalyzing ideas into personal change, communitywide engagement, and societal movements.


We foster fun and play, honoring the electric spark of epiphany and sharing the stories of our students.

Compassion and Justice

We seek to enter into a broken world, equipped with Love and selflessness, to create hope and repair.


In our fourth year, TomTod Ideas did lots of fancy numbers things, like having over a 65% bump in core programming participants and over 110% in revenue! But more important than the numbers are the takeaways our students are experiencing. Here are few of our favorites from 2016:

“Sometimes ideas you nearly cast aside manage to make it a lot farther than you’d think.” “It’s good to know that our opinions matter.” “Ideas require a lot of work.” “The voice of the youth can make the community a better place.” And while processing these important lessons, students also reported specific skills development such as:

I learned how to… -work better in groups. -contact and reach out to others. -develop an idea. -think very deep about topics and how to conquer obstacles.

As we look forward to 2017, we’re excited about all that’s still to come with new camps, new schools, new students to encourage and empower. Thanks for being a part…your support and advocacy matter, helping tomorrow’s ideas and tomorrow’s leaders to start today!

2016 by the numbers 526

13 110+ Students from

different middle schools

Volunteers and partners impacting middle schoolers


Community collaboration participants

PROGRAMMING We implement four programmatic areas that empower middle school people and explore how imagination and ideas benefit the common good. From summer camps to in-school curricula, from student idea launches to community collaborations, our programming amplifies our students, our schools, and our community. All that we do centers on the concept of asking “what if?” We encourage students to imagine the world as it could be, where their ideas and dreams are heard, accepted, and put into action. What if middle schoolers were today’s leaders? What if young people didn’t have to wait to be an adult to change the world? What if their voices, ideas, and imaginations all enhanced the common good? Let’s find out…

Rooted in communities. Collaborating with people.

SIP: Speedy Interview Plunge

It’s like speed dating…but with compelling interviews of community leaders! Campers created questions and interviewed community members, business people, entrepreneurs, school administrators, reporters, and non-profit managers about their work in the community and how middle schoolers can take part.

Labs: interactive field trips

Camp What If is the most innovative summer camp for middle schoolers, where they explore possibilities and create impactful ideas for communities. At Camp What If, middle schoolers make friends and are challenged to do something that matters and have fun doing it! As TomTod Ideas expands, Camp What If does too! In 2016 Camp What If grew into two unique sessions. At Camp What If: Massillon, campers explored the possibilities and assets of the city of Massillon. Camp What If: Canton continued its fourth year running as campers explored the Hall of Fame City and innovated around opportunities and challenges they’ve experienced during the week. By discovering the assets and challenges the Massillon and Canton communities offer, campers learned the importance of being involved and engaging with the places in which they live. Camp What If kicks off with a giant city-search, where students explore the history, geography, infrastructure, and attractions of Canton and Massillon, investigating the assets and challenges each city offers.

Campers learn from the experts on interactive, engaging excursions to local agencies, businesses, government buildings, and other community assets. We met the mayors of both Massillon and Canton, and explored the people and places working to improve the community in areas of business, education, government, social services, the arts and entertainment, healthcare and more.

Artsplorations: exploring problem-solving and innovation through the arts Camp What If is full of exploring new things in new ways. With Artsplorations, we use different mediums to create art, expand critical thinking, and creatively tackle problems. Local artists and educators train campers at Artsplorations, which included: • • • •

Visual Storytelling Dance Improv Visual Art

Community Ideation Celebration:

After a week of discovery, learning, and soaking in all that Massillon and Canton offer their communities, campers brainstorm ideas and innovate new approaches to enhance the common good. Campers create ideas individually and in large and small groups. They iterate, refine, and process their thoughts, work in teams, and give constructive criticism on all ideas proposed. As the week comes to a close, campers divide into teams and focus on specific ideas. Then, as a culmination to Camp What If, campers present their ideas at the Community Ideation Celebration, where families and community leaders alike hear the great work TomTod Ideas’ students have accomplished and see middle schoolers’ visions for an enhanced common good – where people and their lives are safer, better, and more fulfilling.


summer camps (1 new!)




community collaborators and volunteers


ideas generated to enhance the common good


final pitches of community-enhancing ideas



What If 101 students this year: Grew communication skills. Central to all programming, and particularly What If 101, our middle schoolers developed their communication skills with individuals, in small teams, and in presenting to large groups. All cohorts pivoted from one setting to another as they researched, asked questions, and learned from each other and discovered on their own. Innovated creatively. Students learned what

Cohorts in the following schools: • Early College Academy at Souers • College and Career Readiness Academy at Lehman Middle School • North Canton Middle School • Faircrest Memorial Middle School • Massillon Junior High School • Oakwood Middle School In class. In the field. In your imagination. What If 101 enhances learning and walks students through the ideation process. This in-school collaborative leads middle schoolers through the process of creating new ideas for the common good while complementing existing class curricula. Students learn from community guest speakers, research their topics, travel to locations outside the classroom, and, by using the information they’ve learned and the skills they’ve acquired, formulate ideas to serve the community and beyond. Our students in What If 101 grapple with the importance of new ideas and thinking critically. They gain confidence in how they communicate, understand how to research and explore new ideas, and think deeply about how our actions influence each other and how we can all work together for the common good.

it means to innovate in the field. By meeting philanthropic artists and exploring innovative projects conceived to beautify communities, students at Lehman Middle School explored why creating new ideas is imperative to benefit people’s lives and their communities. They saw firsthand how artists and benefactors innovate with guest speakers from Akron Arts LIFT and an interactive Canton Arts District tour.

Cultivated critical thinking. Student media literacy and the media’s responsibility to the community grows more and more imperative. Early College Academy and North Canton Middle School students learned the importance of storytelling as a tool for sharing information, and what responsibility the media has to its constituents. While investigating different forms of media, students analyzed the positives and pitfalls of each, cultivating a healthy understanding of how to use and share news and information. Students went behind the scenes at the Canton Repository, Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and WKSU studios in Kent. Contributed to their communities. Other cohorts at North Canton Middle School focused on how they could innovate together as a class to contribute to their community. Students set their research skills and human-centered design concepts to work, learning the problems their fellow community members face and rapidly generating ideas to solve them. Numerous projects were created, analyzed, budgeted, and presented to a community panel, including orchestrating a popup drive-in movie theatre and providing a vending machine that only dispenses healthy food options to every cafeteria in the North Canton City Schools.

20 5 5 12


school districts

field trips

guest speakers

2016 saw these middle school ideas in motion: The Anti-Hunger Games

Maranda Weigley is on a mission to end hunger in her city. With her What If You Could team and lead mentor Paula Guiler, they’re creating a day of fun and games that generates awareness and funds for food and grocery distribution to impoverished families and children in Stark County…and it’s called the Anti-Hunger Games. In April 2016, Maranda pitched her idea to Stark SOUP, a micro-grant crowdfunding contest alongside three other adult competitors, and she won – receiving $2,700 towards her anti-hunger initiative. Look out for the games happening this spring!

The next big idea is yours

Middle schoolers are bubbling with imagination, creativity, and ideas that make them positive agents of change in their communities. What If You Could is TomTod Ideas’ mentorship program that launches middle schoolers’ ideas to transform the world – or even their block – for the common good. Starting at the very beginning of their idea, we lead students through conducting research, proving their idea’s concept, shaping it, fine tuning it, and, ultimately, setting it in motion to make a difference in the world. Our students form peer teams and are paired with adult mentors who bring insight and resources to our students’ creative drive and passion. The whole journey can take 6-18 months, and the stellar projects our students have implemented inspire us daily. When our middle schoolers launch an idea through What If You Could, they explore creative innovation with research and design thinking at TomTod Ideas. They grow in competence and confidence as they create unique projects as young people and prove they can really work. With their passion and intrinsic optimism, our students demonstrate how compassionate and caring middle schoolers truly are.


Gwyn Douce and Aaron Massey are deep in developing an app called CitySmart, a new way help people better explore their communities. With different themes like food, history, and social services, CitySmart makes the greater Canton area’s assets and resources accessible to everyone and shows you where to find them. In 2016, Gwyn and Aaron moved through prototyping a variety of approaches and by the end of the year had joined forces with local app developer Chris Cutter and his firm to implement their designs. Soon, people will interact with their local communities and invest in their resources even more, all from their smartphone, and all because of middle schoolers.

Spark the Park

Tresor Nshimye and Ryan Milosevic sparked community development in their local park. Their What If You Could team and mentor Christina Savage collaborated with the North Canton Parks Director and Board to improve public park grounds and explore new possibilities of what a public park can be. Through environmental research, clean-up, programming development, and partnering with community members, Spark the Park built eco-friendly bat houses, installed little libraries so anyone can share books, and even installed a Goosinator in Price Park to make the local park system a better, cleaner, more communal place for the community to value.


idea teams in action


more students accepted and launching ideas right now!


adult mentors

Maranda Weigley anti-hunger games

Gwyn Douce Aaron Massey Citysmart

TomTod Ideas cherishes our partners, our local community, and the people we meet every day. Finding the space for middle schoolers to change the world starts at the local level, with businesses, organizations, and community-minded people who share our vision of young people empowered to lead, innovate, and create change. The common good truly becomes common and good when we partner with each other. Here’s how we collaborated with our community and asked “what if we empower middle schoolers together?”

Council of What If

The Council of What If is the newest student program at TomTod Ideas! In 2016 We launched this idea-driven, design-centered consulting team of young people. Sometimes, to solve problems, adults need a different perspective. That’s where the Council of What If comes in. Council of What If students collaborate with local businesses and organizations to discover new insights, harness productive creativity, and bring their young, insightful imaginations to the corporate and nonprofit world.

Our students: Learned collaboration

Students not only worked in teams together, they collaborated with adults in the corporate world, growing communication skills and gaining experience in project management, discovering how real change is made when people work together.

Grew in character

Council of What If students developed compassion and understanding, using improv exercises to learn more about themselves and develop empathy for those they meet for the first time.

Are connected

Our students discovered how strongly connected community improves the common good. Creating meaningful relationships and shared goals are imperative for community growth, and when our students found common ground with peers and adults alike, they were empowered to make valuable contributions to their communities. The Council of What If moves into the business consulting stage in 2017, and we can’t wait to see these creative, collaborative students thrive!

Landfill Harmonic

Young people’s dreams are inspiring the world over. Collaborating with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Canton Palace Theatre, we brought Landfill Harmonic to the big screen for over 500 local students. This inspiring documentary showcases a group of Paraguayan kids and their community making music out of trash, overcoming odds to create a new future for themselves and the village dump in which they live.

C3PO: Canton Community Co-Percolating cOllaborative In partnership with the Stark County District Library, we host a coworking and conversation space for community- and nonprofit-minded people to work together, share resources, bounce ideas, and get to know each other.

Other Community Involvement

We mentor and get to know students through the Captain’s Table at the College and Career Readiness Academy at Lehman Middle School and Early College Academy at Souers. We facilitated programming, led workshops, and shared our story with each of the following organizations: The Stark County District Library, Malone University, Massillon City Schools, Aultman Health Foundation, Marietta College, Young Entrepreneurship Consortium, Plain Local Schools, Leadership Stark County, Seven Hills School, Soroptimist International of Canton/Stark County, and other organizations around Northeast Ohio.

Thank you to our Foundation and Corporate supporters TomTod Ideas wouldn’t exist without the generous support of our funders and sponsors who keep us moving forward to empower middle school students and cultivate tomorrow’s ideas today. We offer our deep gratitude to the following organizations: ASAP! Promotional Product Leaders Aultman College Bixler Moore, LLC Coffee and Code DeHoff Family Foundation DeHoff Realtors Deli Ohio Four Kids Coffee Grace Wallace Sullivan Fund Hall, Kistler & Company LLP Hartville Health and Wellness Herbert W Hoover Foundation Incept Corporation Martha Holden Jennings Foundation McMichael Chiropractic Company New Work City Foundation Paul and Carol David Foundation Play It Again Sports Pour Over Change Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon and Half Marathon Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services Rivertree Christian Church Rotary Club of Plain Township Site 14 SoL Harris/Day Architecture Stark Community Foundation Stark County District Library Tim Morris, DDS Yoder-Bontrager Insurance & Financial Services And finally, to the many who have individually supported our mission to empower middle schoolers to launch absurd ideas that enhance the common good, thank you.


Chip Weisel

Jean McFarren

Board President Owner, Hartville Health & Wellness

Hillary Gerig

Katie Cerrone ARNOLD

Board Vice President

Board Treasurer

Board Secretary

Deputy Director, Stark County District Library

Commodity Accounting Lead, First Energy

Associate Professor, The University of Akron

Ryan Hollingsworth Joel Daniel Harris Board Member Director of Social Media, Grabowski & Company

as of December, 2016

Board Member Executive Dreamer, TomTod Ideas

Mike Walpole


Board Member National Sales Director, Brewster Cheese

Board Member Magistrate, Stark County Court of Common Pleas

Lucy Burick Student Rep Student, Hoover High School & TomTod Alumnus


Joel Daniel Harris



Executive Dreamer

Chief Adventure Curator

Lead Storyteller

We welcomed Bryce to our Team in June this year!

2016 Financial Overview - Income $19,183.47







In Kind (monthly or quarterly gifts) Public Recurring Fundraiser

Public Point-In-Time (one time or occasional giving) Programmatic


Corporate Business Grants





$44,594.00 Fundraiser Events






Public Point In Time Corporate Business Public Recurring

Programmatic (contracted services and tuition)

In Kind


$221,112.05 2016 Total Income

2016 Financial Overview - EXPENSES $131,276,63

infra In Kind














Infrastructure In-Kind

$181,754.17 2016 Total Expenses

*All totals include applicable expenses as well as associated portions of staff salary costs. For a more detailed look at our finances, please inquire with our Executive Dreamer or reference our annual 990-EZ, filed with the IRS. **Income exceeding expenses is reflective of restricted grant carryover that is earmarked for 2017 and for funding used to grow our reserve fund.

“The voice of the youth can make the community a better place.” “Canton is a place that has lots to offer, we are more than football.” “Small ideas go a long way.” “TomTod Ideas is getting me ready for the real world.” “Sometimes ideas you nearly cast aside manage to make it a lot farther than you’d think.” “It’s good to know that our opinions matter.” “I learned how to contact and reach out to others.” “I learned how to develop an idea.” “When you have an idea and you want it to happen, put it in motion!”

— Middle Schoolers at Camp What If


715 Market Ave. N. • Canton, OH 44702 • 330.617.4753

Profile for TomTod Ideas

TomTod Ideas Annual Report 2016  

TomTod Ideas and its middle schoolers are impacting their communities, empowering students, and expanding programming. Take a gander at our...

TomTod Ideas Annual Report 2016  

TomTod Ideas and its middle schoolers are impacting their communities, empowering students, and expanding programming. Take a gander at our...


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