D.C. Teacher Partners With Legendary Backyard Band for a New Go-Go Rendition of the ABCs


by Veracity Savant

May 30, 2024

We need more teachers like this!

Kendall Maloney, a teacher at Bunker Hill Elementary School in Northeast Washington, D.C., is known for her innovative teaching methods. She consistently finds ways to engage her students in Black history and their academic curriculum, rallying the community to bolster her efforts. In 2022, Maloney’s initiative to recreate iconic Ebony magazine covers with her students went viral. She spearheaded in-school fundraising for months, enlisting her students’ help in the project. Six months later, she unveiled a breathtaking calendar that paid tribute to an array of Black leaders and the iconic publisher. Her vision was simple — to provide a daily opportunity for students to delve deeper into Black history. 

Now Ms. Maloney is back, this time with a new song featuring the District’s legendary go-go band, Backyard. Inspired by a previous deck of cards she made highlighting historical Black history facts in D.C., Maloney enrolled her students and the Backyard Band in the creation of a go-go rendition of the ABCs. 


“It all started from last year when I did my 72 deck of cards on everything Black facts in D.C. I decided that I wanted to create an extension from this project, and I wanted to go on and make a song with Backyard Band,” Maloney told Fox 5 DC.

The local news channel honored her for Teacher’s Appreciation Week, surprising Maloney during class along with her father, Bob Maloney, and DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee


Fox 5 celebrated Maloney’s achievements, delving into the project’s origins. The esteemed educator revealed that 26 of her students played a pivotal role, contributing to the creation of the card deck that featured information about significant people, places, and facts in D.C. These students then selected 26 of those cards, which formed the foundation of the new ABC song. They lent their voices to the catchy hook crafted by band member Weensy, with Anwan Glover (The Wire), also known as Big G, leading the rap verse. 

“Ms. Maloney is a great model of the creativity that our teachers bring to the classroom every day and the joyful learning experiences that are created and the connections that our students make with their community… We’re very fortunate to have her,” said Dr. Ferebee.

He presented Ms. Maloney with a $2,200 check for her school on behalf of Eastern Automotive Group as her students applauded in her honor. Overwhelmed with gratitude, Maloney thanked the company for their kind donation. 


“My community always shows up and shows out for me, but this is an extra boost,” she told reporters. 

Maloney and her students unveiled the new Go-Go ABC song featuring Backyard at a community event last week. Sponsored by Backyard Band, DTLR, and Hugs Not Slugs, the event featured a spa booth for the children, a jeep race car track, sweets and treats, and, of course, community resources for students and their parents. Maloney and her students teamed up with Big G and the band for an impromptu performance of the song, with other featured artists opening up for them. The event was a complete success, and Maloney took to social media to thank everyone for their continued support. 

“I have so many thank you’s and I will do it bit by bit because everyone deserves their shine…I could go on, on and on…I must thank my school Bunker Hill, my principal…and most importantly, the KIDS,” wrote Maloney. 


Cover photo: D.C. Teacher Partners With Legendary Backyard Band for a New Go-Go Rendition of the ABCs/Photo Credit: Kendall Maloney

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content