By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Office of Adult Education is sponsoring a series of events, this month, to celebrate the city’s literacy efforts. Among the highlights is the launch of a children’s book written by an adult literacy student.

“One day, Pong-Pong was walking through the forest when all of the sudden….”

That’s part of a line from “The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong,” by Philadelphia mom Wanda Steward.

“My children went to school having problems, kids picked on them,” Steward said, “and I shared this story with them so they would be able to get up in the morning and feel good about themselves and hold their head up high.”

What makes Steward’s journey to published author more amazing is that she has only learned to read and write, herself, in the last year. That’s why she made up Pong-Pong’s story; she couldn’t read bedtime books to her kids.

She was chosen this year’s Global Campaign Heroine for Project Literacy, which published the book. Steward has this advice….

“Put your pride aside. That’s what holds you back in life,” she said. “Reach out. Be like me, be desperate enough to get the help that you really need.”