ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Members of the University of Virginia Police Department and Greer Elementary School students celebrated their success in reading club Wednesday.

For the past 12 weeks, officers visited Greer once a week and worked with second-grade students on their reading skills.

The group celebrated by exchanging cards and gifts and having a pizza party.

Teachers said they saw improvement in the students' skills and their excitement grow as they found new friendships.

UVA Police Chief Tim Longo said it's about building relationships with the community beyond safety.

"Be a means of support from the safety and security standpoint, but really a resource in many other ways. And, to come into the classroom and to spend time as an individual and not as a person in uniform has been very encouraging, I think, for our young officers, but I also think very much appreciated by the students," he said.

Longo said police officers and teachers have a lot in common because they’re both problem solvers.