A new national "movement" called "Too Small to Fail" launched Wednesday, pledging to use the power of media and advertising to raise awareness of the growing needs of children in a nation that is, organizers say, too focused on the big problems of the economy and not focused enough on the consequences of that economy for its smallest citizens. More than 16 million kids now live at or below the poverty line, the highest number of children in poverty in 50 years.

The campaign was created by the nonprofit organization The Center for the Next Generation, and it is hoping to call attention to a number of financial and health-related problems facing American kids, including:

  • More than one-quarter of our children have chronic health conditions such as obesity and asthma, a doubling since 1991;
  • American students – even those from educated families – are lagging far behind international competitors in math, science, and reading, and risk losing their edge in the highly competitive global marketplace;
  • More than half of students from middle-income families who score highest on their 8th grade reading and math tests don't complete college, undermining their social mobility and future income security;
  • Two-thirds of students completing college or other post-secondary education or training are burdened with heavy debt, limiting their ability to build middle-class lives.

The campaign will urge government, business, and community organizations alike to take steps to help families live more financially and emotionally stable lives. Parents magazine and are among the many media partners participating in the campaign, and an initial ad is set to air during cable television programs that depict children in danger.

For more, visit the campaign on Facebook  ( or the Too Small to Fail website. Or watch the video below for a brief outline of the campaign and its purpose and goals.