BATON ROUGE - During the summer, LSU defensive specialist Lauren Waclawczyk wanted to do more than just finish her volleyball career. She wanted to find a way to make an impact on the Baton Rouge community.
Waclawczyk set up a meeting with Dufrocq Elementary School principal Mary Robvais and championed the "Geaux Books" program. At every home volleyball match, the Tigers would collect books to replenish the school's library.
In four months time, not only did Waclawczyk become the 11th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career digs and play a key role in LSU securing its seventh consecutive SEC Western Division title on the court, the business management major's idea blossomed into an astounding 2,780 books.
"The 'Geaux Books' campaign initiated by Lauren is truly one of the most impacting contributions to the Baton Rouge community that our program has made," head coach Fran Flory said. "It is our hope that we have impacted and changed lives through this program."
Waclawczyk and her teammates loaded up the books to attend a special assembly at Dufrocq on November 7 and presented the students with their special gifts. Waclawczyk even put on a skit with the Mike the Tiger to explain the importance of reading to the students.
Following the South Carolina match on November 13, LSU volleyball gave Principal Robvais, school librarian Sheila Brock and the Reading Industry Students a commemorative frame as part of Geaux Books day.
"Reading is the basic foundation of education and helping to provide that foundation for the students at Dufrocq has been an incredible and rewarding experience for Lauren and our entire team," Flory said. "This is not just a gift from our program, but the Baton Rouge community. We couldn't have done this without the support of the LSU volleyball fans who have contributed to the success of this endeavor."
Fans have one more opportunity to donate elementary level books Saturday at the Arkansas match to benefit the Everybody Reads Program through Volunteer in Public Schools. First serve is slated for 1:30 p.m. and admission is free courtesy of the Advocate's Geaux Free program.