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Vivian Jenkins & Chrissie Lewis – Authors of the Sunrise Readers

Since the first writing of these successful reading books, Vivian Jenkins and Christine Lewis have accumulated over 25 years of educational research and teaching experience each. They have brought a great deal of experience and cutting-edge expertise to the careful revisions that have been made to these books. They have continued to work in Education over these past 25–30 years.  To find out more about the authors of the Sunrise Readers, continue to read here.

Vivian Jenkins – Educator and Author

Vivian Jenkins 2019

Born in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, Vivian grew up in Gweru, where she attended Riverside, C.J.R. and Chaplin schools.  After school, she qualified for a Teacher’s Diploma in Junior School Education at Hillside Teacher’s College in Bulawayo.

Vivian then taught at Thomas Coulter School in Hwange for two years. During that time, she met her husband, Peter. After they were married, she taught briefly in South Africa before they moved to Bindura, Zimbabwe, where their first two sons were born.

After four years in Bindura, the Jenkins went to Bible School in Dallas, Texas, USA. In the early 1980s there was an ‘explosion’ of church schools starting up all over the United States, and during their two years in the USA, Vivian visited some of these schools and attended seminars in education. Their daughter was born in Dallas. Returning to Gweru, Zimbabwe, they joined a small group of people who formed the Board of Trustees for Midlands Christian School and Midlands Christian College. Their third son was born, and for the next ten years, Vivian taught Grades 4 – 7 at MCS, and English at the secondary school level at MCC.

Midlands Christian School, Gweru, Zimbabwe.

In the mid 1980s, Vivian co-authored the Sunrise Readers with Chrissie Lewis. These consisted of twenty reading books, taking a child through the first two or three years of reading in English. They were first published by Longman Zimbabwe. Vivian then went on to write six more Sunrise Readers (Blue and Red Books 1 – 3) to cover the next two grades, followed by a Faith In Action Pupil’s text book for Grade 7. The Sunrise Readers  were approved by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education. They became the English reading scheme of choice in Zimbabwe for the next thirty years, up to the present.

Chrissie Lewis and Vivian Jenkins – 1986 – with one of the artists, Lindsay Handyside

In 1992, Vivian became Principal of Midlands Christian Training Centre. MCTC became a registered University of South Africa Distance Learning centre, facilitating degrees by correspondence whilst implementing practical teacher training. She took her own Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, English and Psychology during this time.  She spent much time researching new trends in Education and assessing student teachers in schools all over Zimbabwe. She remained involved with teacher education for the next twenty years.

Midlands Christian College

After stepping back from full-time work in teacher education, Vivian qualified for a Certificate to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages with Cambridge University. She made use of this qualification, teaching English to other language speakers in Zimbabwe, Zambia and in London, UK.

Receiving an Award of Honour for Thirty Years of Service as a Founding Board Member of the Midlands Christian Group of Schools – with Principal Director Pastor Daniel Pswarai and Board Chairman Mr Caston Musa

Vivian worked with her husband in an inner city church in London, UK, from 2007 – 2011, after which they settled in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015 she was approached by PEARSON Africa to write supplementary readers for the Zimbabwe Step Up English programme, for Grades One – Six. 

In 2017, Vivian and Chrissie Lewis were approached by PEARSON AFRICA to revise the Sunrise Readers. The first ten readers have been revised. Books One to Five are already in schools in southern Africa, and Books Six and Seven are available as ofMay 2020. They have been approved by the Ministries of Education in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Over the years, Vivian has written two biographies, one children’s novel and one other novel.

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