A new set of keys have been donated to Dublin City School District's transportation department, but they're not the type used for driving.
Davis Middle School students May 24 donated a decorated street piano to the district's transportation department as a way to show their gratitude for the bus drivers and other employees they have come to know over their school careers.
Intervention Specialist Stephanie Stinemetz said she had her class, a group of sixth- through eighth-graders with low-incidence disabilities or multiple disabilities, design a donated piano as a hands-on application to an article they had read about street pianos.
"From there, they kind of took off with the project," Stinemetz said.
After Stinemetz published a Facebook post about the project, a parent in the Dublin City Schools community donated a piano to the class.
The students spent several days planning how to decorate the piano, Stinemetz said, settling on the Davis motto, "Living the Irish Way."
They spent a day together adding their designs and hand prints to the piano and some used stencils to create artwork.
Students decided by vote to gift the piano to the transportation department in appreciation of the employees there, Stinemetz said.
Many of the bus drivers have known these students since kindergarten, she said.
"They're essentially like a family to these kids," she said.
Members of the transportation department visited the class May 24 and viewed the piano which Stinemetz said will be delivered to the department's building during the summer.
Amy Salay, assistant coordinator of transportation, said her department was honored that the students chose them as recipient of their street piano.
Like Stinemetz, Salay said the department's drivers and aides have developed close relationships with the students they transport.
"Everybody means a lot to each other," she said.
Salay said the piano will go in the department's break room, where a large number of employees gather or walk through during the day.