CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Teachers in Charlottesville closed out the summer with one last tour of city neighborhoods to hand out free books and popsicles to local students.

“They get a free book, they get a free popsicle so they love that,” said Walker Upper Elementary School Librarian Rebecca Flowers.

In its third year, Books on Bikes involves a core team of five teachers and librarians who rode through Charlottesville’s neighborhoods twice a week, every week for the duration of the summer.

Flowers estimated passing out an average of 200 books per week and said it’s something both the teachers and the students looked forward to.

“We honk our horns and ring our bells and let them know that we’re coming in the neighborhood and so they get very excited and come running to us,” she said. “They sort of expect us to come.

The goal of the program is to keep kids sharp even during their three-month vacation.

“During the summer, students are often sliding in their reading, it’s called the summer slide,” Flowers said. “Some of their reading ability sort of slacks and we’re hoping to keep that going all summer long so they’re ready to start the school year right where they left off and they don’t have to catch back up.”

Wednesday will be the first day of school.