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Columnist Olivia Garcia

Parents of teenagers, I feel for you.

I know how much of a rollercoaster ride it can be to handle your teen's school, club and athletic activities, not to mention keeping tabs on their social lives. It's exhausting.

However, staying up to date on their academic progress has gotten a lot easier for parents of students attending the Kern High School District.

With two sons at Highland High School, I feel a bit relieved -- and thankful -- that the KHSD offers a mobile app that allows us parents to keep track of our children's grades, attendance, and class schedules. This mobile app is called ParentVUE and is available for Android and iPhone devices.

There is a process to sign up and register, and you will likely have to go to the school office to get it set up. You will need an access code for it, which the school can provide.

But once you are in, it's heaven. I have been able to email their instructors and counselors on questions, and they've been awesome at fast replies.

Plus it's nice for me to tell my boys that, with a touch of a button, I know if they have been late or absent or doing well or not so well in class. Nice way to hold them accountable. No worries about Big Brother watching you. In this case, it's Mom watching you.

As a part-time journalism instructor at Bakersfield College, I often discuss the topic of "mobile parenting" to my students who share interesting responses. In essence, mobile parenting is a new way in which parents use technology and mobile devices to keep track of our children, and let's face it, most of our children are pretty wired in.

It's just great to know that the KHSD understands that as well and is trying to make the communication process easier for us parents.

I am not sure how many high school district offer ParentVUE but it is definitely something every high school parent in the district should download if they have a mobile device. I think it also works on the iPad using wifi.

If you are not sure about it, check with your high school.

BWell Live Show

If you care about your health and wellness, then you need to mark your calendars for The Bakersfield Californian's BWell Live, a webcast that is hosted by veteran broadcast journalist Lisa Krch and streamed live on Bakersfield.com Wednesdays at 10 a.m. It is the brainchild of The Californian's Louis Amestoy. Regular guests include myself, Californian reporter Rachel Cook, Hillary Haenes of Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines, and well-known freelance writer Lisa Kimble. Past topics have included preparing for back to school, understanding how two local residents prepared for and met a 7-month get fit challenge, addressing the issues of Valley Fever, and getting updates about health and wellness topics featured in Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines. Future topics include cancer awareness, running, Obamacare and more. Make sure to catch it this Wednesday at 10 a.m.; Lisa Krch is your host.

Golf tournament

If you love to golf while socializing with others and having a good time, then mark your calendars for the 9th annual Tee It Up Golf Tournament, organized by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The golf tournament will be held Monday, Sept. 30 at the Bakersfield Country Club. Shotgun takes place at noon. Jay Tamsi, CEO/President of the KCHCC, says the tournament is one of the chamber's popular events with familiar players returning and new ones always wanting to join in on the friendly competition. The tournament raises funds to support the chamber's business activities and services for its membership as well as the annual scholarship program for local students, among other things. Tamsi said the event comes in time as fall settles in, and he mentioned there is still time to sign up for a team. For more information about sponsorships or registering a team, please email Sylvia Picazo at the Hispanic Chamber office at officeadmin@kchcc.org or call her at 661-633-5495.

Olivia Garcia is editor of Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines and a columnist of The Bakersfield Californian. These are her opinions, not necessarily those of The Bakersfield Californian. Send her tips at ogarcia@bakersfield.com

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