Tyson, Perry Community Schools highlight Eritrean culture

Contributed news from Tyson Foods Inc.
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PERRY — Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., and Perry Community Schools recently hosted an event to teach Perry educators across grade levels about the country of Eritrea and its culture.

Perry is home to several families that immigrated from Eritrea, and there was a strong desire from teachers in the district to learn more about the culture and background of the culture to better understand their students. 

About 145 teachers and staff from all levels of the district attended two presentations in February, where Tyson Chaplain Gus Henrici and Tyson translator Berihu Bahta, presented on the cultural and religious practices of Eritrea and the Tigrinya people. They covered cultural differences, what education was like in Eritrea, how families got to Iowa and other important topics. 

“The feedback from teachers on this event has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Erica Stevenson, Perry teacher and event organizer. “Berihu and Gus provided attendees with the background and perspective to better serve our students. We are grateful Tyson made the time to speak with us and answer questions.” 

Tyson also received positive feedback from employees that learned about the event. Many Tigrinya employees/Eritrean families left a difficult situation in their home country, and the support of this presentation highlights the desire from the community to learn about their stories and culture. 

“This event was important for all those involved,” said Gus Henrici, Tyson Perry Chaplain. “This presentation, and others like it in the future, will help many of our team members, their children, and the community at large as they interact with the school district.” 

Perry Community Schools is looking to work with Tyson to schedule more events like this in the future, highlighting the diverse cultures that make up the Perry community.