The Sierra Primary cheer team hosts the first of three summer fundraisers at the Fort Sage Family Resource Center Thursday, June 21. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Sierra Primary Panthers form cheer team

The Herlong community has been looking for a few new activities to engage local children, and thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated educators at Sierra Primary School, it found one.

The Sierra Primary Panthers will be adding a cheerleading team to boost Panther pride.

The first-ever cheer squad currently has eight members on the team and is hoping to add at least two more once the 2018-2019 school year begins.

Coaches for the primary cheer team are Erica Embree and Emma Sery.

Regarding what initiated interest in forming the squad, Erica Embree said, “We want to give these kids access to as many activities as they want. Out here, it’s hard to commute to get the kids involved.”

Sierra Primary teacher Janean Embree later added, “This area needs more opportunities for the children. We’ve got a lot of students and children who have hopes, and we’re trying to fulfill some of them.”

The squad is open to any young athlete between the grades of kindergarten to sixth, regardless of skill or gender.

In order to keep the squad fully functioning, the tumbling team hosted the first of three fundraisers Thursday, June 21. The fundraiser was a tamale and nacho lunch and dinner at the Fort Sage Family Resource Center.

Sery was the chef behind the fundraiser, and her skills in the kitchen truly paid off as the squad ran out of tamales prior to the scheduled end of the dinner. Thus, the event was declared an amazing success.

The organizers of the event wanted to make it clear that Sery has her food-handling certification.

“We don’t want to mess around,” said Janean Embree.

After such a successful fundraiser, the squad will be holding its second and third fundraiser on Aug. 2 and Aug. 16 with the same items on the menu.

Janean Embree also briefly spoke of the growing need for youth activities in the area.

She said, “We’re looking for more community opportunities. We’re trying to access dance. There’s a need out here.”

She later continued, “We have available spaces and we are interested in expanding. Some of the things we are looking for are martial arts, dance, music, theatrical activities and really anything. We have the ability to utilize facilities with just a simple facility use form.”

For more information about community activities or about the upcoming cheerleading fundraisers, contact Janean Embree via text or call at (707) 227-6430, or via email at