Tag Archives: State Rep. Vincent Pedone

Video gaming – a potential economic engine for Worcester and MA

By State Rep. Vincent Pedone

There has been quite a bit of activity at the State House since summer ended, and recently the House passed legislation expanding casino gaming in Massachusetts. The bill, which is designed to stimulate economic growth in the Commonwealth, will establish an independent gaming commission that could license up to three casinos in the state. 123 of my colleagues voted with me in passing this legislation, and it is our expectation that 15,000 jobs will be created in Massachusetts should the Senate and Governor approve it.

While casino gaming has dominated headlines across the Commonwealth, I also want to provide you with an update on another type of gaming legislation that I have been working on this past year – video gaming. In January, I filed a bill that would provide tax incentives to video game companies if they create jobs in Massachusetts.

Like the casino gaming legislation, my video game bill is designed to stimulate economic growth in the Commonwealth. I believe it will help make Massachusetts a hub for video game design and development, a burgeoning industry that is expected to surpass the size of both the music and movie industries by 2014.

By providing financial incentives to video game companies, the Commonwealth could attract and retain successful companies that already provide jobs to thousands of Massachusetts residents. Currently 76 video game companies employ more than 1,200 people here, and I believe we have the educational talent and resources to expand. Fourteen Massachusetts colleges have academic programs or courses in video game design, including Princeton Review nationally-ranked #6 WPI and #10 Becker College. Between those two schools, there are over 325 students in Worcester working toward degrees in video game design.

Massachusetts in the past has successfully nurtured the growth and development of business clusters in fields such as biotechnology, telecommunications, and healthcare. The Bay State’s unique mix of academic institutions, talented human resources, and venture capitalists enables it to take the lead position in different fields, and I believe we now are strongly positioned to be a leader in video gaming.

My bill is currently in the Joint Committee on Revenue, and a tentative hearing date is scheduled in October. By no means will this bill be a cure-all for our state’s economy, but it should stimulate growth in the Commonwealth if it passes.

Casino gaming and video gaming highlight Massachusetts’ necessity for economic stimulus, and both pieces of legislation are evidence that the legislature has already kicked back into high-gear. Much work is yet to be done, but I remain committed to helping our state’s creative economy grow.

Please support the Reach Out and Read program

By State Rep. Vincent Pedone

Early childhood is the most important time during a person’s life, and as parents we have a responsibility to provide our children with the best possible education during these formative years.

Language skills, in particular, are developed at a very young age. It is proven that children who begin school with strong language skills will be better students. Unfortunately, 34 percent of American children today enter kindergarten lacking the basic language skills they need to learn to read. It is crucial, then, that we improve our home learning environment to ensure that our children are ready to learn when they enter school.

Reach Out and Read is a non-profit, Massachusetts-founded organization that addresses this necessity and helps prepare our children to succeed in school. Started by pediatricians and early childhood educators, this highly successful public-private program encourages parents to read aloud to children and make a difference in their developmental skills.

15 Worcester hospitals, clinics and doctor offices participate in Reach Out and Read, and our community has witnessed the benefits. Through these programs, doctors and nurses go beyond standard medical care procedures and advise parents on how to read to children at each developmental stage. Pediatricians give patients a book to take home every time they visit to encourage parents to make reading aloud a routine activity at home.

The impact is significant, and the cost is minimal. Children served by Reach Out and Read score significantly higher on vocabulary tests and enjoy a six-month developmental gain in their preschool years. It also encourages parents to take an active role in their child’s education. And since doctors and nurses volunteer their time with Reach Out and Read, the only primary expense is the cost of the children’s books. Continue reading Please support the Reach Out and Read program

State Rep. Vincent Pedone to hold a very special “Toy & Book Drive” Dec. 15

State Representative Vincent A. Pedone (D- Worcester) announced he will be holding a very special “Toy & Book Drive” on Wednesday, December 15, from 6 pm – 8 pm, at Coral Seafood (225 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester).

This annual event is sponsored by Register of Deeds Anthony Vigliotti, School Committeewoman Dianne Biancheria and Representative Vincent A. Pedone. Our efforts have been successful in providing toys and books to disadvantaged neighborhood children during the holiday season for the past 19 years.

Last year we collected more than 1,000 toys and books, thereby allowing us to spread holiday cheer to many children and families in our community struggling during these trying economic times. A warm thank you to all who have helped make past drives a success.

This year, there are even more families in crisis, trying to make ends meet. With that in mind, I am asking you join us at Coral Seafood and bring one or two toys or books to our “Toy Drive.” This event gives us an opportunity to share a token of joy with a needy child this Christmas season. It also provides us a chance to join together, reconnect and share some holiday cheer with old friends.

Thank you!

Reach Out and Read supplies Worcester docs with books

By Matt Ferraguto

Doctors and nurses at 15 of Worcester’s hospitals, health centers, clinics, and practices are sending home their youngest patients with brand-new children’s books and important advice for their parents: “Read to your child every day.” That’s because they’re all participating in Reach Out and Read, the national nonprofit early literacy initiative that gives young children the tools they will need to learn to read and succeed in school.

Reach Out and Read is research-proven, with more than a dozen published studies documenting its impact on the children and families it serves, and it’s cost-effective, because it only costs $40 to provide the full, five-year program to one child. Continue reading Reach Out and Read supplies Worcester docs with books