The Conway Public middle schools plan blood drives starting Monday, according to a news release.

The drives are open to the public, but people over age 16 should call and schedule an appointment to make sure the school can fit them in with minimum wait time, said counselor Lena Priest in email.

The drives are planned by the school counselors as "part of the social-personal component of the guidance curriculum," according to the news release.

"We are hoping to teach the students the value of compassion, empathy and giving back to the community," Priest said.

The students, who are too young to donate, are helping by recruiting donors for the drives.

"When I went to talk to the classes about the importance of giving back to our community, I was surprised at how many of the students had personal stories about people they knew and cared for who had received blood during a surgery or after an accident," Priest said in email. "Stories like those make community service projects like this more personal, and therefore, more likely to be successful."