It was the King of Creativity himself, Mr. Walt Disney, who said, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.” Encompassing all three ideas, Cline Elementary second-grader Carter Karacostas is proving creativity has no limits and no age requirement.
Karacostas recently won a menu design contest for Gringos and Jimmy Changas.
“My mom saw on one of the old menus that you could go to a website, and make a menu,” Karacostas said. “When I won, it was exciting.”
Rachel Klipstein, one of Karacostas’ teachers, said she’s proud of Karacostas’ accomplishment.
“I’m sure it was a very competitive competition since we’re such a big city, so I think it’s awesome he was able to win,” she said. “I like that we get to see it when we go to Gringos and I can tell my kids ‘my student drew that.’”
Brittany Bocan, his other teacher, agreed.
“I think it’s impressive that his [menu] was chosen,” Bocan said. “It’s exciting.”
According to both Bocan and Klipstein, Karacostas’ peers are equally impressed with him. During the first week of school, Karacostas brought his winning menu to class with him to show his friends.
“My classmates thought it was cool,” he said.
This is not the first time Karacostas had inspired his classmates. For the past year, he has also expressed his creative side through writing and sharing his book series called Super Banana, featuring an unlikely superhero who happens to be a banana.
“Super Banana is brave and silly,” Karacostas said. “He fights a bad guy named Dit. Then there’s Dit’s boss and Dit’s boss’s boss. Super Banana has to fight all of them.”
His teachers love the stories.
“Super Banana is very entertaining,” Klipstein said. “It’s such an original idea and just very creative.”
When asked about why he decided to start writing the books, Karacostas simply responded, “I don’t know, I was hungry.”
Twenty books and a few t-shirt designs later, Karacostas’ series has created a hunger in the minds of his classmates to start writing stories.
“He’s inspiring his classmates to write their own books. We now have a Super Apple in my class that someone is doing,” Bocan said. “We love seeing our students learn from their peers and want to work together. It really helps build a classroom.”
“Carter was my book buddy in first-grade and I remember he’d come to my class and he would read his Super Banana stories to the second-graders. Even though he was younger, he was inspiring kids who were older than him to write,” she said. “It creates unity and teamwork instead of them competing with each other. They have a similar goal to create these stories for entertainment, so it’s a really great thing to see.”
Seeing the impact he’s had makes Karacostas happy and want to write more. Ultimately, he said he would love to see Super Banana in a TV show or movie like Toy Story.
Bocan believes no goal is too far-fetched for Karacostas to accomplish.
“I think Super Banana is going to go far,” she said. “I hope [Karacostas] keeps following his dreams.”