middle school students in classroom wearing masks

Arriving at Landmark: My Story

by Angie Assetta ’24

Left Behind, Left Out

It all started in third grade.

Kids made fun of me because I couldn’t keep up or read quickly. Sometimes I told my mom I didn’t feel well or threw tantrums so I didn’t have to go to school. I used to hide in the bathroom during lunch, and during recess I hung out with the lunch monitors. In fourth grade I made some friends, or so I thought, until I was bullied by my “best friends.” The next year I went for testing and found out I am dyslexic, and it kind of scared me because I thought dyslexia was a bad thing. I was put in a class that was supposed to help me with reading, but it didn’t.

The first day of sixth grade was one of the scariest days of my life. I had to go to a whole new school, and I was in a special class with six boys. The boys behaved badly, but I eventually learned to deal with them. My female friends left me and then the boys turned on me, too, and called me names and even some swears too. Luckily, things were about to change.

Finally Fitting In

At the end of the year, my mom mentioned Landmark to me. My first reaction was, “Is it after school?” but my mom told me Landmark was a new school. I began to cry tears of joy but also sad tears because it would be another major change for me. My mom said it would change my life, but I thought “just another school.”

That summer I got to go to Landmark. During my classes we actually learned skills like EKS (expanded kernel sentence) and my tutorial helped me sound out words and be better at reading and spelling. I didn’t want summer to end because I met lots of friends who lived far away.

About a week before the program ended, my aunt had to pick me up and I was really confused because my mom always picked me up. When I got home, a huge balloon said “Congratulations.” I was shocked and excited when mom told me I was accepted into Landmark for seventh grade! 

My seventh grade year at Landmark was the best school year ever. I have met a lot of amazing friends I never want to lose. The students at Landmark are different because they understand me. They have similar learning styles and know that I’m not stupid, I just learn differently. Whenever I’m having a problem, staff members will find me and help because they want me to enjoy learning and not be distracted by problems. The teachers teach in a way that I can understand, and if I don’t, they will always help me. Classes are small and everyone in my classes learns the same way I do, so I don’t feel stupid. I feel smart, actually. I can’t wait for eighth grade, and to see where my life goes after Landmark!

Arriving at Landmark: My Story

Article originally published in The Lantern, Spring/Summer 2019.