By Lori Dresner, Managing Editor/News Editor

The Megan Meier Foundation (MMF) announced on July 20 that they would be expanding their resource center, which supports young individuals and families impacted by bullying and cyberbullying. The expansion was made possible through a Purchase of Service Grant from the St. Charles County Community and Children’s Resource Board (CCRB).

With the expansion, the foundation will now be able to provide on-site expressive, therapeutic, and counseling services to adolescents 19 and younger. An open house was scheduled on August 3 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for staff to showcase the newly renovated facility and to demonstrate how it will aid those facing bullying. Children and teenagers who had received support from the MMF were also to be on site to tell how the foundation made a difference in their lives. As the resource center incorporates external support into their services, “The MMF firmly believes that through its counseling services youth will experience meaningful psychosocial and academic improvements, thereby reducing the long-term, detrimental effects of bullying,” according to a press release statement.

“This is a very exciting time for us,” said Tina Meier, founder and executive director of the MMF. “We are fortunate to be able to provide additional support, counseling services and mentorships. We are beyond grateful to our supporters and sponsors for believing in our cause and helping us make a positive impact in the lives of children, families, schools, and communities.” According to statistics cited by MMF, more than 3.2 million students become targets of bullying each year and 160,000 of those students stay home every day. Of 42 states and the District of Columbia, Missouri ranked highest for high school bullying on school property, and on average, Missouri ranked near the bottom as the 41st out of 43 states at controlling bullying in high schools. Located at 515 Jefferson Street Suite B in St. Charles, the MMF was founded in December 2007 by Tina Meier, the mother of Megan Meier, a teenager who committed suicide in 2006 after being bullied over the internet.

The MMF is a non-profit 501 whose mission is to support and inspire endeavors to end bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide through services and programs for youth, parents, and educators struggling with these issues. More information on the MMF, the resource center, and their programs and services can be found at www.meganmeierfoundation.org. They can also be reached at 636-757-3501.