Congratulations to Upper Arlington on a fantastic July 4 celebration, "Sweet Freedom's Song."

To the editor:

Congratulations to Upper Arlington on a fantastic July 4 celebration, "Sweet Freedom's Song."

Brushing aside record high temperatures, power-outage woes and even a late-arriving thunderstorm which required early launch of the fireworks, our community carried on with our cherished Independence Day tradition undeterred.

We have many wonderful people and businesses to thank.

Our celebration is sponsored by the Upper Arlington Civic Association through the generous contributions of UACA members during The Walk membership drive. Staffing for Independence Day was provided by the hard-working and enthusiastic UACA directors and junior directors, under the excellent leadership of UACA President Tony Callander.

Executing such a large event requires a great deal of organization and dedication, and we would like to thank our fellow committee members for their hard work. Mark and Lisa Berens organized this year's parade. Mike and Kris Ferraro coordinated float construction, and Larry and Jennifer Jupp headed the float judging competition. It was a pleasure working with such a wonderful committee.

Special thanks are in order to Jeni Britton Bauer, owner of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, for serving as our 2012 parade grand marshal. Our cheerful and patriotic "Sweet Freedom's Song" logo was created by UA resident Jenny Ledman of Real Brand Design.

Once again this year, Kyle Andrews organized the military units and Josh Gille coordinated the antique cars in the parade. Ron Johnson, Becky Scholl and Laura Hagar organized the Party in the Park tables and Brion Burcham successfully put the reservation process online.

Bob Davidek again coordinated the traditional UA morning wake-up calls and Boy Scout Troop 555 led several scout groups in the distribution of flags before the parade. Bill Hall continued as the UACA's liaison with Colonial Fireworks. George and Janet Belu provided breakfast before the parade for the veterans groups. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Thanks to talented Hastings seventh-grader Jordyn Stone for her wonderful rendition of the national anthem.

The UA Police Department (Lt. Greg Patrick), the UA Fire Department (Capt. Ben Anders), Parks Division (Dave Staats), Streets Division (Buddy Caplinger) and City Manager's Office (Emma Speight) deserve special thanks for their efforts leading up to and on July 4. You all helped make the day run smoothly and safely.

Several former July 4 Committee general chairpersons aided in the morning with the staging and launching of floats: thanks to Randy and Kathy Mueller, Mike and Melissa Fleming, Jeff and Becky Scholl and Andy and Carolyn Weeks. Brian McGuire and Ed Crum again facilitated painting the stars on Northwest Boulevard. Thanks to all of you.

Thank you, Parade Patrol volunteers: the Hall family, the Schoning family and Ben Berens. Thank you to the Diday family, who served as our fearless Kids on Bikes supervisors for 2012, as well as the 22 individuals who served as judges for the floats as they passed by Donatos.

Many businesses and individuals donated products or services throughout the summer and on July 4. Thanks to: Griffin Paving and Striping, Brian McGuire Landscaping, Real Brand Design, Grassroots Irrigation, Donatos Pizza, Mama Mimi's, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Old Bag of Nails, Giant Eagle, Rent-a-Johns (Bill Reynolds Jr.), the Golf Car Co., Macy's, Kingsdale Shopping Center, Continental Realty, Arlington Towing, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Saint Agatha Parish, the UA Public Library, Barrington Elementary (Jason Fine) and UAHS (Michael Schaefer).

It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of planning such a wonderful Upper Arlington tradition.

Drew and Lissa Wade

2012 General Chairs
UA July 4 Celebration

Library appreciates students' donation

To the editor:

On behalf of the Upper Arlington Public Library Board of Trustees and administration, I want to extend great appreciation to the Upper Arlington High School class of 2012 for its generous donation of $750.

What a surprise and honor it was to learn that the class of 2012 had elected the Upper Arlington Public Library as the recipient of one of its class gifts.

For many in the class of 2012, your relationship with the UA Library began in our Storytime classes long before you even entered school and over the years, our relationship has been one of mutual benefit. During the school year, we stocked our collection with the books you needed to complete your assignments and our librarians were here to help you with your homework and research.

In return, over the summer months many of you served us as volunteers for the annual summer reading club. As you head into the next phase of your life's journey, you can still count on the UA library to be there for you, whether it's information you need for a college research paper, or market data to help guide your decisions with a new business enterprise, or for e-books and music for relaxing.

So don't be a stranger: Both you and your UA Library card will always be welcome here.

Thank you, UA class of 2012, for making the UA Library a part of your class memories. We are proud of your many academic accomplishments and congratulate you on your success. We promise to steward your gift well.

Chris Taylor, Director

Jack Burtch, President

Board of Trustees
Upper Arlington Public Library

Wickliffe, Barrington are worth a visit

To the editor:

In 1972, the Upper Arlington Board of Education approved the Informal Program as a parent choice alternative in response to parent requests and teacher initiatives.

Today, the program continues to offer an alternative educational experience and currently serves nearly 700 children at Wickliffe and Barrington schools.

As part of the 40th anniversary of the first Informal Program classrooms, staff from Wickliffe and Barrington held an Informal Program open house April 26 at Wickliffe Progressive Community School. The evening was an opportunity to share student work that captures the learning fostered in the Informal Program.

After a brief presentation about the program's "Ten Foundational Principles of Progressive Education," a framework for our work with children, attendees toured the building, viewing examples of student work that brought these principles to life.

We want to thank the many community members who joined us that evening for this celebration of learning. We continue to be grateful for the opportunity given to us by the Upper Arlington school district and the larger community in providing this parent-choice alternative program since 1972.

We invite community members to visit our schools any time to learn more about the Informal Program.

Chris Collaros, Principal
Wickliffe Progressive Community School

Jason Fine, Principal
Barrington Elementary School