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24
Wednesday
 
  The Baby Box Initiative 育嬰寶盒
by Igor Bagrov & Paul Hines
This lifesaving program helps young mothers and curbs infant mortality in Finland and the US.
在芬蘭和美國,這項挽救生命計劃讓年輕媽媽得到幫助並控制了嬰兒死亡率。


  Finland is a large country in the north of Europe with a small population of around six million people. _(1)_ Young mothers are given 10 months of paid maternity leave, and fathers are encouraged to use "bonus" working days to stay home with their babies. _(2)_ There is also the Baby Box Program launched in the country some 80 years ago.
  _(3)_ The box contains the basics for infant care: a winter baby outfit, shoes, toys, diapers, and many other essential items. It helps parents save a lot of time and money.
  This wonderful program recently started in the US state of Minnesota as "Babies Need Boxes," a non-profit organization founded by Danielle Selassie, which aims to provide help to young single mothers. _(4)_ While it is too early to predict whether the organization will spread nationwide, these boxes are already making a difference. Some women grow up without having a mother figure in their lives and can feel lost without their guidance once they themselves become moms. A young mother became emotional after receiving a box, saying it meant a lot to her, because her own mother was absent in her life. _(5)_ It is hoped that the initiative will begin to take root in other states.

(A) She was inspired after discovering Finland's program, remarking that the article she read had a beautiful quote that said, "The boxes are a sign of equality."
(B) Because of this, the government of Finland has been trying its best to
boost the country's birthrate by providing newly born babies with the best of care.
(C) Since the box provides everything a baby needs, young moms won't have to worry about not knowing what to buy.
(D) In spite of what has been achieved in controlling the birthrate, there is much to be desired.
(E) With every baby born, young parents in Finland receive a free baby box from the government.
(F) With those benefits from the government,
it is no wonder that the infant mortality rate in Finland is the lowest in the world.



原來如此
  1. 第一題空格應選 (B)
    理由:
    a. 空格前一句提及 "Finland is a large country in the north of Europe with a small population of around six million people."(芬蘭是北歐大國,人口卻很少,大約有六百萬人。),而 (B) 項的句子提及 "Because of this, the government of Finland has been trying its best to boost the country's birthrate by providing newly born babies with the best of care."(正因如此,芬蘭政府一直以來都竭力提供新生兒最好的照顧,以提高該國的出生率。),前後兩句以 country(國家)一字形成關聯,且空格前一句指出芬蘭人口很少,(B) 項的句子則表示芬蘭一直努力提升出生率,句意連貫。
    b. 根據上述,(B) 項應為正選。
    大補丸
    boost vt. 提振,增強,促進
    同: increase vt.
    That new gasoline additive has really boosted my car's performance.
    那種新的汽油添加劑確實提高了我車子的性能。
    *additive n. 添加物
  2. 第二題空格應選 (F)
    理由:
    a. 空格前一句提及 "Young mothers are given 10 months of paid maternity leave, and fathers are encouraged to use "bonus" working days to stay home with their babies."(年輕媽媽們皆能享有十個月的帶薪產假,且政府鼓勵爸爸們使用『有津貼』的陪產假在家陪自己的孩子。),而 (F) 項的句子提及 "With those benefits from the government, it is no wonder that the infant mortality rate in Finland is the lowest in the world."(有了政府所給予的那些福利,難怪芬蘭的嬰兒死亡率是全世界最低的。),前一句的 10 months of paid maternity leave(十個月的帶薪產假)和 "bonus" working days(『有津貼』的陪產假)即代表 (F) 項的 benefits(福利),故兩句形成關聯。
    b. 根據上述,(F) 項應為正選。
    大補丸
    It is no wonder + that 子句  難怪……
    同: No wonder + S + V
    Danny was late again. It's no wonder that the manager wants to let him go.
    丹尼又遲到了。難怪經理想請他捲舖蓋走人。
  3. 第三題空格應選 (E)
    理由:
    a. 空格後一句提及 "The box contains the basics for infant care: a winter baby outfit, shoes, toys, diapers, and many other essential items."(盒子裡裝了基本的嬰兒用品:一套冬季嬰兒裝、鞋子、玩具、尿布和許多其他必需品。),而 (E) 項的句子提及 "With every baby born, young parents in Finland receive a free baby box from the government."(每一名嬰兒一出生,芬蘭的年輕爸媽便會獲得政府單位所寄送的一個免費育嬰寶盒。),前後兩句以 box(盒子)一字形成關聯。
    b. 根據上述,(E) 項應為正選。
  4. 第四題空格應選 (A)
    理由:
    a. 空格前一句提及 "This wonderful program recently started in the US state of Minnesota as "Babies Need Boxes,"..."(這項美好的計劃最近在美國明尼蘇達州以『寶貝需要盒子』之名開始興起……),而 (A) 項的句子提及 "She was inspired after discovering Finland's program..."(她在發現芬蘭有這樣一個計劃後受到了啟發……),前後兩句以 program(計劃)一字形成關聯,且 (A) 項句子的主詞 She 即指空格前一句的專有名詞 Danielle Selassie。
    b. 根據上述,(A) 項應為正選。
    大補丸
    quote n. 引文 & vt. 引用
    衍: quote sb as saying...  引用某人的話稱……
    I like this famous quote, "As you sow, so shall you reap."
    我喜歡這句名言:『一分耕耘,一分收穫。』
    *reap vi. & vt. 收獲
    The newspaper quoted the mayor as saying, "Two more parks will be built in the city next year."
    該報引用市長的話稱:『明年本市將再興建兩座公園。』
  5. 第五題空格應選 (C)
    理由:
    a. 空格前一句提及 "A young mother became emotional after receiving a box, saying it meant a lot to her, because her own mother was absent in her life."(一位年輕媽媽在收到育嬰寶盒後情緒很激動,她說這對她而言意義非凡,因為她自己的母親已在她的人生中缺席。),而 (C) 項的句子提到 "Since the box provides everything a baby needs, young moms won't have to worry about not knowing what to buy."(由於育嬰寶盒提供了寶寶所需的一切,年輕媽媽們就不用擔心不知道該買什麼了。),前後兩句以 young mother / moms(年輕媽媽)一詞形成關聯。
    b. 根據上述,(C) 項應為正選。

精解字詞
  1. initiative n. 倡議;率先行動
    衍: take the initiative  率先,倡導
    John took the initiative in helping to solve this thorny problem.
    約翰率先協助解決這個棘手的問題。
    *thorny a. 棘手的
  2. curb vt. 抑制 & n. 人行道路邊
    The first step to losing weight is to curb overeating.
    減肥的第一步是控制飲食過量。
    The car skidded into the curb, nearly hitting a pedestrian.
    這輛車打滑撞上人行道路邊,差點撞上一名行人。
    *skid vi. 打滑
  3. infant n. 嬰∕幼兒(三個月~一歲)
    比較 toddler n. 學步的幼兒(一歲~四歲)
    baby n. 嬰兒,小寶寶(出生~四歲)
    newborn n. 新生兒(不足三個月)
  4. outfit n.(尤指整套的)服裝(可數)& vt. 提供全套服裝
    衍: outfit sb  為某人提供全套服裝
    I'm considering wearing a Superman outfit to the costume party.
    我正考慮要穿全套超人裝去那場變裝派對。
    The clothing brand quickly rose to fame by outfitting celebrities.
    這個服裝品牌藉由提供名人全套服裝而快速闖出名號。
    *rise to fame  闖出名號
  5. essential a. 必要的,不可或缺的 & n. 要素,本質(常用複數)
    Both nutritious food and adequate sleep are essential to our health.
    營養的飲食與充足的睡眠對健康都是必要的。
    Our course deals with the essentials of management.
    我們的課程講述管理的基本要點。
  6. nationwide adv. 在全國 & a. 全國的
    People nationwide were celebrating the downfall of the dictator.
    全國民眾都在慶祝那名獨裁者的垮臺。
    According to a nationwide survey, less than 25 percent of Spaniards enjoy naps.
    根據一項全國調查指出,只有不到百分之二十五的西班牙人喜歡睡午覺。
    *Spaniard n. 西班牙人
  7. emotional a. 感情激動的;情緒的
    衍: emotional quotient  情緒商數(簡稱 EQ)
    My mom became emotional upon reading the card I sent her.
    我媽看了我寄給她的卡片深受感動。
    Patty's high EQ helps her get along with other people.
    佩蒂的高情緒智商幫助她與人們相處融洽。
  8. mean vt. 表示 & a. 刻薄的,惡毒的
    衍: mean a lot to...  對……很重要
    mean nothing to...  對……沒有意義
    be mean to sb  對某人很刻薄
    My mother means a lot to me. I can't bear to lose her.
    我母親對我很重要。我無法忍受失去她。
    Sally's criticism means nothing to me. I won't be affected by it at all.
    莎莉的批評對我而言沒有意義。我一點都不會受影響。
    You've been so mean to me lately. Did I do something wrong?
    你最近都對我好兇喔。我有做錯什麼事嗎?

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參考字詞

mortality n. 死亡率
maternity leave  產假
maternity a. 產婦的
衍: bereavement leave  喪假
bereavement n. 喪失親人;喪親之痛
personal leave  事假
sick leave  病假
diaper n. 尿布
衍: disposable diapers  免洗尿布,紙尿布

片與小舖
  1. aim to V  旨在……,以……為目的
    The article aims to emphasize the importance of environmental protection.
    這篇文章旨在強調環保的重要性。
  2. make a difference  有影響;有所不同
    Nothing you said made a difference in his decision. Tom will always do whatever he wants to do.
    你所說的話對他的決定沒有任何影響。湯姆總是會為所欲為。
  3. take root  生根;深植人心
    When people care for and respect each other, trust takes root and grows.
    當人們互相關心尊重時,信任便生根發芽並成長起來了。

中文翻譯&標準答案


育嬰寶盒
在芬蘭和美國,這項挽救生命計劃讓年輕媽媽得到幫助並控制了嬰兒死亡率。

  芬蘭是北歐大國,人口卻很少,大約有六百萬人。正因如此,芬蘭政府一直以來都竭力提供新生兒最好的照顧,以提高該國的出生率。年輕媽媽們皆能享有十個月的帶薪產假,且政府鼓勵爸爸們使用『有津貼』的陪產假在家陪自己的孩子。有了政府所給予的那些福利,難怪芬蘭的嬰兒死亡率是全世界最低的。該國還有大約於八十年前即推行的育嬰寶盒計劃。

  每一名嬰兒一出生,芬蘭的年輕爸媽便會獲得政府單位所寄送的一個免費育嬰寶盒。盒子裡裝了基本的嬰兒用品:一套冬季嬰兒裝、鞋子、玩具、尿布和許多其他必需品。這有助於爸媽們省下大量的時間和金錢。

  這項美好的計劃最近在美國明尼蘇達州以『寶貝需要盒子』之名開始興起(此為丹妮爾‧塞拉西耶所創辦的非營利組織),該組織旨在為年輕的單親媽媽們提供幫助。她在發現芬蘭有這樣一個計劃後受到了啟發,談到她所讀到的這篇文章有一句美好的引述:『育嬰寶盒是平等的象徵。』儘管現在就預測該組織是否能普及全國還言之過早,不過這些育嬰寶盒卻已經發揮作用了。有些女性在沒有母親的環境下成長,一旦她們自己成為母親時會因少了媽媽的指引而感到不知所措。一位年輕媽媽在收到育嬰寶盒後情緒很激動,她說這對她而言意義非凡,因為她自己的母親已在她的人生中缺席。由於育嬰寶盒提供了寶寶所需的一切,年輕媽媽們就不用擔心不知道該買什麼了。期望這一倡議能開始在其他國家生根發芽。

答案: 1. B 2. F 3. E 4. A 5. C

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