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Related Arts


You never know what you’ll see or hear when you walk into one of Dana Friend’s classes at Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center. Ozark’s littlest learners could be practicing keeping the beat by strumming a ukulele in music class, or they may be learning how to treat their books like babies in library class. In sensory lab they may be shoveling styrofoam snow or pushing each other in a bobsled laundry basket. 

What you do know you’ll see in Friend’s classes are students learning and having fun. 

“When these kids walk into any class of mine, I want them to walk in those doors and feel joy and love and know that we are going to have a great time together in class,” said Friend, Tiger Paw Related Arts teacher. 

Tiger Paw Principal Dr. Elizabeth Dawson said while the preschool curriculum has included PE for years, 2022-23 is the first school year it has offered a full related arts program, which includes music, art, PE, library and sensory lab. Trevor Hale teaches PE while Friend teaches the remaining related arts classes. 

“Early childhood education is all about providing students with the tools and skills that lay the foundation for future academic and school success,” Dawson said. “Related arts serves that mission by targeting a multitude of developmental skills while also providing our students the opportunity to transition throughout their day.”

Dawson said as the District was planning for Tiger Paw’s recent expansion, the decision was also made to expand the related arts program, as it helps in so many ways, especially kindergarten readiness. 

“We felt it was important to provide our students the opportunities that the exposure and experience that related arts gives them,” she said. 

Friend said the related arts program is helping set students up for future academic success.

“In all of the related arts classes at Tiger Paw, we’re focusing on making sure we have developmentally appropriate skills for each student that’s going to help them to be ready for kindergarten,” Friend said. “It’s exciting that we’re able to help lay that foundation of a love of learning with all of these students and to help set them up for success as they’re beginning their educational journey.”


Tiger Paw Related Arts